The Importance of Memorial Day

When thinking of Memorial Day - people often think of the weekend including bbqs, gatherings and the unofficial start of summer. This day has a much deeper meaning being the remembrance of the men and women of the military who passed away defending our nation. It is so important to understand the importance of Memorial Day. This doesn’t mean we need to stop celebrating Memorial Day in the way we currently do, but just to be sure to put the importance of the day at the forefront of our minds - prior to the public pool opening. 

Be sure to honor the many brave citizens who left home to serve our country as sadly, many of them did not return. 

So how much do you know about Memorial day? Below are 3 facts you may or may not know. 

    1. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The holiday was known as Decoration Day because it was a day of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. The name "Memorial Day" goes back to 1882, but the older name didn't disappear until after World War II. It wasn't until 1967 that federal law declared "Memorial Day" the official name.
    2. May 30 was initially chosen as the observation day. It was believed to have chosen to be May 30 as the day to observe Decoration Day because flowers would be in bloom nationwide.
    3. The Official Birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York. There are debates about which city was the origin of Memorial Day, however most agree it is Waterloo, New York. However, the first large observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. for a crowd of about 5,000 in 1868. 

There are many ways to honor active and reserve military and veterans, as well as those who died in service of their country, below are a few:

  • Take part in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. on Monday, Memorial Day, by pausing for one minute to remember the importance of the day.
  • Help maintain the veteran area of a nearby cemetery. Place flowers and flags on the graves. 
  • Post a tribute to a fallen hero on social media.
  • Visit a historic site.
  • Sponsor a thank-you bouquet.
  • Learn about past wars and the services the military provides.
  • Post a message to the troops at the USO website ( 
  • Make a financial donation.
  • Take part in a Memorial day tradition.
  • Plan/ suggest a special company “thank you” 
  • Don't Confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day.
  • Wear red, white and blue, but not the flag.
  • Showing support to living veterans.
  • Take time to learn more about Memorial Day.
  • Teach the youth about what Memorial Day means. 
  • Clip coupons and mail them to a military base associated with the Overseas Coupon Program.
  • Provide financial support for families of the fallen.
  • Watch a patriotic movie.
  • Visit a VA Hospital. 
  • Read the original Decoration Day proclamation.
  • Watch the National Memorial Day Concert.
  • Commit your time to agencies in your area that work with veterans or active military service members. 
  • Call a soldier's spouse or parents.
  • Ask someone about their service.