Memorial Day Celebration
Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years and many Americans have forgotten the
meaning and traditions of the day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored or neglected.
Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold
Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.
In traditional observance, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly
lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the
day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of
their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise
up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act adds the flying of the POW-MIA flag on all Federal and U.S.
Military Installations on Memorial Day. The POW-MIA flag is to be half-staffed until noon along with the National flag.
Other traditional observances included wearing red poppies, visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the
graves of our fallen heroes, and visiting memorials.
To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of
Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000. It asks that at 3 p.m. local time all Americans “voluntarily
and informally observe in their own way, a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are
doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.”
article by Joshua Claybourn