For many of us, Memorial Day means grilled hamburgers and a day at the beach. But while you are enjoying the unofficial summer kick-off, take a moment to pay respect to those who serve our country.
But why limit your gratitude to one day? Here are three easy ways to show your respect and gratitude for our veterans all year long.
1. Support local veteran support groups.
Groups like the California Association of Veteran Service Agencies provide a variety of opportunities to share your time with or make donations to our US veterans and their families. Learn more about ways to advocate for veterans, help them in job training, or offer financial support for veterans’ support programs.
2. Fly the American flag every day.
Honoring the American flag on Memorial Day is a touching homage to our veterans, but there’s a right way to do it. Unlike other holidays, such as Independence Day, American flags are supposed to be flown at half-staff until noon and then raised to full-staff until sundown. This is done out of respect for those who have passed away. As a daily reminder of the benefits of this country, why not celebrate the good qualities of this nation by displaying the American flag 24/7?
3. Share your ancestors’ stories with loved ones.
Not all of us have family members who’ve served in the military, but we all have stories of courage, humor, love, and loss within our family history. Study their story, then share it with loved ones. “When a family starts the process of collecting shared memories, others inevitably jump in, which ultimately makes for a collection of stories that fit together and create a fuller picture of the family history,” says Erika Manternach of AncestryProGenealogists.
Memorial Day plans may vary from person to person, but the unifying theme that Memorial Day brings to all of us is worth celebrating all year. By offering support to veterans’ support groups, honoring those who serve by displaying the flag, and celebrating your family’s legacy by sharing stories, you can keep that Memorial Day spirit alive all year.