What does Memorial Day mean to you? Memorial Day weekend is often associated with the start of summer–the end of the school year, the first barbecue of the season, the opening of the community pool–so it can be easy to forget the true meaning of the holiday. While holidays are something to look forward to, Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend; it’s a time to remember.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for all of the men and women who died while serving in the United States military. Did you know it was originally called Decoration Day? Some observe Memorial Day by visiting a well-known memorial, such as the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, while others volunteer at their local cemetery to place flags and flowers on graves.
Remember the fallen this Memorial Day with a few ideas from ABC Insurance Agencies. Check out the infographic below to remember the fallen.
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Remembering the Fallen on Memorial Day
Millions visit these well-known memorials every year, but how much do you really know about them?
1. Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington, Virginia | Dedicated 1864
- Spans 624 acres
- Over 400,000 rest here
The active cemetery is a final resting place for more than 400,000 active service members, veterans, and their immediate family members. It is also home to the Tomb of the Unknowns, which is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.”
2. Marine Corps War Memorial – Arlington, Virginia | Dedicated 1954
- Stands 78 feet tall
- Weighs over 100 tons
Inspired by the Pulitzer Price-winning photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, the memorial is dedicated to all the Marines who have given their lives in defense of the US since 1775. It was paid for entirely by private donations.
“Uncommon valor was a common virtue.”
3. USS Arizona Memorial – Honolulu, Hawaii | Dedicated 1962
- Only accessible by boat
- Straddles wreckage below
Arizona was bombed during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The memorial was constructed over the hull of the sunken battleship, which serves as a tomb for more than 900 sailors who remain within.
“To the memory of the gallant men here entombed and their shipmates…”
4. Vietnam Veterans War Memorial – Washington, D.C. | Originally Dedicated 1982
- Two statues, one wall
- Located on National Mall
The most recognizable feature is the black granite wall inscribed with names of more than 58,000 who died while serving in the Vietnam War. The memorial also includes “The Three Servicemen” statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.
“Courage, sacrifice, and devotion to duty and country.”
How to Honor Fallen Heroes at Home
- Volunteer to place flags on graves at your local cemetery.
- Wear red poppies in remembrance.
- Pause for the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day
Together, we can help keep the “memorial” in Memorial Day.
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