Memorial Day Activities & Events: Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

Memorial Day was first celebrated a year after the end of the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the nation’s first national cemeteries. Until 1971, it was known as “Decoration Day” in reference to the decoration of graves. For more information about the history of the holiday, visit History.Com's page on Memorial Day History.

May is also Military Appreciation Month. We would like to take this moment to thank all of the active-duty service men and women, those who serve in the reserves, as well as all of our honorable veterans who have fought for our country -- and most importantly we want to take a moment to remember and honor all of those who given the greatest sacrifice for us of their lives. Many of us have heroes like this in our families, and in our family histories.

We hope you are all able to find a way to remember and honor our nation's heroes this weekend. We've provided some ideas to help inspire you.



Wherever you and your family live, it doesn't cost anything, nor does it involve much planning to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 pm on Memorial Day. This is a time to pause for a moment of silence, for one full minute, to remember and honor those who have fallen in service to our country. The 3 pm time was chosen because it is the time when many Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. This event is intended to be a unifying act of remembrance for Americans of all ages. The National Moment of Remembrance Act became law in the year 2000.

There are a few different ways to observe the National Moment of Remembrance, both formally and informally. The moment of silence can be observed formally at places such as a veterans cemetery, or a memorial park (check your local city for their Memorial Day observance schedule and hours). If you're on your own, and not attending an organized event or co-mingling in a public space, you can informally observe the National Moment of Remembrance by playing ‘Taps’, the military bugle call that reflects on the glory of those who have sacrificed their lives in service to our country during the minute of remembrance. You can also ring a bell (or use a bell ringing app on your phone) to ring at the beginning and the end of the one minute of remembrance. If you are driving and unable to stop you can simply turn on your headlights for one full minute.