Memorial Day History & Traditions

In recent years, Memorial Day Weekend has been celebrated by thousands of us kicking off the summer at our cottage on the lake, gathering with friends and family for a backyard BBQ, or taking advantage of the long weekend and traveling to a new city. Unfortunately, this year looks a little different as we continue to social distance in order to keep ourselves and others safe. It’s the perfect time to reflect on what Memorial Day truly signifies.

We would all probably guess that “Decoration Day” sounds like something to do with the Christmas season, but did you know that Decoration Day was actually the original name for Memorial Day? Save that little tidbit for trivia night! Memorial Day is defined as the U.S. National Holiday to honor the men and women who have made many sacrifices for their country by serving in our Military. We want to give you some great ways to pay homage to the amazing individuals who keep us all safe!

Memorial Day was made a national holiday in 1968 to include each war the U.S. was involved in. An amazing way to brush up on your knowledge of the U.S. Military throughout the decades and pay your respects by remembering those who were lost is by visiting a National or State cemetery.  Both Michigan and Indiana each have State and National Cemeteries, and can be found at each of their links! Traditionally, decorating graves for our national heroes includes laying flowers and placing American flags at each grave.

A few other great traditions to partake in this Memorial Day Weekend are a little less involved, but still show your appreciation! Hanging the American flag off of your porch or in your front yard symbolizes your appreciation and remembrance for those who have lost their lives. Wearing a red poppy in remembrance is a tradition that stemmed from a poem that was written in World War l called, “In Flander’s Fields” and shows admiration for those who gave their lives for their country! In addition, be sure to set a reminder in your phone for 3:00PM local time. Why, you might ask? 3:00PM local time is the national moment of remembrance. Join the rest of the country in a moment of silence to remember our fallen heroes.