5 Things to Know About Honoring Memorial Day
May 20, 2020
As a federal holiday, many U.S. employers acknowledge Memorial Day in recognition of its honorable meaning. Learn more about what Memorial Day stands for and how you can communicate its significance to your teams and online networks.
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” – Harry S. Truman
Here are 5 things you may not know about the holiday:
- Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was originally known, was founded in 1868 as a nationwide day of remembrance for those who died fighting in the Civil War.
- Memorial Day isn’t celebrated; it’s honored as a day of sacrifice. Saying “Happy Memorial Day”, particularly to a veteran or someone who lost a military family member, can be perceived as insensitive.
- Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time.
- Many Americans observe the day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings or participating in parades – though COVID-19 may alter many of the traditional activities for 2020.
- Americans wear the symbolic red poppy flower on Memorial Day to commemorate the sacrifice of so many men and women who have given their lives fighting for their country.
As an individual, here are some ways you can honor Memorial Day that are COVID-19 friendly:
- Share this article to spread awareness on the origin of this day of remembrance
- Participate in a virtual Memorial Day broadcast and/or drive-by parade
- Pause at 3 p.m. local time for a moment of remembrance
- Display the U.S. flag
- Highlight a family member or friend who lost their life fighting for their country
- Make a donation or volunteer
Companies should engage with Memorial Day by providing awareness, remembrance, and service for its employees and external stakeholders. Any activities should be focused on the day itself and place an emphasis on honoring the legacy of service members’ sacrifices.
How are you honoring Memorial Day?
For additional information about Memorial Day history and practices, please reference our sources: