For many families, Memorial Day is spent camping, heading to the lake, firing up the grill, and spending time in the sun with family and friends. While observing this holiday can be a wonderful way to bring loved ones together, We should be reminded that Memorial Day is not a day of celebration. It is an important federal holiday for remembering those who bravely served and sacrificed their lives for our country.
Funeral directors spend every day honoring the lives of those who have passed, but Memorial Day is a day of significant importance as we honor our nation’s fallen heroes. As a funeral director, make a difference on this day by encouraging members of your community to take the time to reflect on the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.
Here are a few ways you can help your community observe Memorial Day.
- Hold a memorial service for fallen heroes. In preparation for the event, invite military families, veterans, and other community members to attend. Read the names of fallen veterans in your community and toll a bell after each name has been read. You can make your service extra special by asking local high school trumpet players to perform Taps and a color guard to perform the Presentation of Colors. Consider giving out flag pins (like these) at the end of the service to those in attendance.
- Host a breakfast or lunch at a local Veterans’ Home. Spending quality time with veterans is a great way to show them how much you appreciate the sacrifice and service they have made to their country. You might also want to bring board games and crafts for everyone to enjoy after their meal.
- Participate in a Memorial Day parade. If your community holds an annual Memorial Day parade, consider sponsoring the parade with other community partners. Your staff could also take part in the parade by designing a banner to walk with.
- Offer transportation to visit a National Cemetery and put out flags. If there is a National Cemetery nearby, offer to take community members to the cemetery or have them meet you there to participate in putting out flags. For those wanting to go on their own time, provide flags at the funeral home for people to pick up to take with them.
- Hold a moment of silence in front of your funeral home. In 2000, Congress passed The National Moment of Remembrance Act to honor those who died in service to our country. Americans are asked to pause wherever they are at 3:00 PM local time for one minute to honor the fallen on Memorial Day. If you plan to hold a memorial service at your funeral home, consider incorporating the moment of silence into the service.
However you choose to commemorate Memorial Day, be sure to make it about the heroes we’ve lost and not about you and your business. This is their day.
By Diane Durbin
OGR Membership Manager
How are you helping your community honor our nation’s heroes this Memorial Day? Contact Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org.