Memorial Day: 7 Ways to Get Involved, Even from Afar, to Honor Those Who Died Serving Our Country, Presented by Carrot-Top Industries

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Memorial Day, May 25th this year, is a day to remember everyone who died in U.S. military service. Even as we are quarantining and social distancing, you can participate in activities from afar to show appreciation for those who died serving our country fighting for the freedoms and rights we enjoy daily. Find inspiration from our list of seven ways you can honor fallen service members and help veterans who are still with us this year.

Memorial Day, May 25th this year, is a day to remember everyone who died in U.S. military service. Even as we are quarantining and social distancing, you can participate in activities from afar to show appreciation for those who died serving our country fighting for the freedoms and rights we enjoy daily. Find inspiration from our list of seven ways you can honor fallen service members and help veterans who are still with us this year.

1. Fly Your U.S. Flag and POW/MIA Flag at Half-Staff: Flying your U.S. and POW/MIA flags at half-staff on Memorial Day is a powerful visual reminder to yourself and others of the day’s meaning every time you look at your flags. On Memorial Day, fly your U.S. flag at half-staff from sunrise until noon to honor the veterans who have died. Raise your U.S. flag to full staff at noon until sunset to honor the living veterans for the rest of the day. This tradition symbolizes that our country is still standing even in the face of military lives lost. If you have a POW/MIA flag, fly it at half-staff from sunrise to sunset to honor all of America’s Prisoners of War and Missing in Action. If your home U.S. flag and/or POW/MIA flag is affixed to the house and can’t be lowered, you can attach a Black Mourning Bow to the top of the flagpole.

2. Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance: At 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, pause for a moment of silence for those who have died while serving in the military as an act of national unity. For at least one minute, send love, prayers and thoughts to those who died in service as well as those who are still serving. The National Moment of Remembrance was established by Congress in 2000.

3. Watch Memorial Day Specials or Past Parades/Concerts on TV/Internet if Your City is Unable to Hold Public Events: Many Memorial Day parades and concerts will be cancelled this year, but you can still enjoy TV specials or past parades and concerts on the internet. The American Veterans Center’s National Memorial Day Parade will live on in a pre-recorded television special titled “The National Memorial Day Parade: America Stands Tall” to be broadcast on Memorial Day on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox stations nationwide. You can also watch the 2019 National Memorial Day Parade or the 2019 National Memorial Day Concert on YouTube.

4. Visit a Veterans Memorial Online: Many people visit local veterans' memorials in their city or state, but this year, many of them are closed. You can still use this year to plan which memorials you would like to visit in person next year for Memorial Day. Use the internet to research the most well-known memorials honoring American soldiers. In Arlington, VA, there is The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, The Marine Corps Memorial, The Air Force Memorial or The Women in Military Service for America. In Washington, D.C., there is The National World War II Memorial, The Korean War Veterans Memorial, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the African American Civil War Memorial. All of these veteran's memorials are a beautiful tribute to those we have lost.

5. Visit a Veterans Cemetery: Every Memorial Day, people visit local veterans' cemeteries to place flags and flowers on the graves while ensuring that they are free from debris. If you have loved ones who died serving the country, visit their graves. You can also check with local veteran cemeteries to see if they have an “Adopt-A-Grave” program where you agree to regularly care for and decorate a veteran’s gravesite. You can volunteer through Memorial Day Flowers to place roses on headstones and quietly honor the veterans buried at the Arlington National Cemetery or at a local cemetery. Check the program’s website for the latest plans for the 2020 event. It may be held at a later date due to the coronavirus. If you physically can’t make it to a cemetery, you can donate money to help volunteers place flowers on graves.

6. Donate Your Time to Support Families of Those Killed in Combat: Sometimes a family just needs a letter to get them through a difficult day of carrying on after a loved one is killed while in combat. Some organizations, such as Soldiers’ Angels, have programs where you can send personalized sympathy cards to grieving families and cards of remembrance to the family on the anniversary of a service member’s passing. By donating your time, you can remind surviving family members that their loved one is not forgotten.

7. Thank or Help a Living Veteran: Show appreciation to veterans who survived their service in defending the country. Show gratitude and respect for those who are still living and can share their stories. You can help disabled veterans through organizations such as Disabled American Veterans (DAV). You can also send letters of appreciation to U.S. military serving around the world through A Million Thanks or send a care package to those who bravely serve our nation through Operation Gratitude. You can even help by just listening to veterans and their families’ stories through recordings with StoryCorps.

About Carrot-Top Industries: Carrot-Top Industries, family owned and located in Hillsborough, N.C., is a trusted industry leader providing institutions and businesses with custom and patriotic solutions since 1980. As one of the largest, independent flag dealers in America, Carrot-Top offers additional product solutions for schools, government agencies, institutions, and businesses across the United States. Carrot-Top continues to succeed by providing the highest quality products, a dedication to learning about customers’ needs, and unmatched flexibility in their shopping experience.

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Tina Williamson
Carrot-Top Industries
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