In the midst of massive sales and summer celebrations, the true intention of Memorial Day has gotten lost. The tradition of Memorial Day began after the Civil War, and at the time, it was called “Decorations Day”. On this day, shops would shut down, so everyone in town could visit the local cemeteries to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers.
In recent decades, the solemness of this holiday has given way to joyful celebration. We get it – at Hatchett Design Remodel, we love a good backyard barbecue as much as you do! We fully encourage everyone to gather with the people you love, but we ask that you also honor the men and women who have given us the freedom to do so.
A simple way to pay your respects is to fly the American Flag outside your home. It is tradition to fly Old Glory at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day. If your flag pole does not adjust in this way, hang a black mourning ribbon in memoriam.
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You can use this day as an opportunity to learn more about the Civil War and the sacrifices of our fallen soldiers by taking the family to York Hall in Yorktown. The ceremony runs from noon until 1 p.m., and the event includes posting of colors, a guest speaker, historical re-enactments and the placing of flowers.
Pay your respects by visiting a veteran cemetery. The Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk will be honoring the fallen by placing flags on each grave site, and the Avenue of Flags will be erected along the circle drive. If you have a loved one buried in this cemetery, the administration office will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to assist in locating their grave. While there, you may also choose to make a donation to the Hortan Wreath Society that funds the placement of wreaths on each grave during the holiday season.
For a more celebratory approach to the holiday, join the U.S. Army Training & Doctrine Command Band as they honor the memory of our fallen soldiers during the annual Memorial Day Concert at City Center at Oyster Point. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the TraDoc Band takes the stage at 7:30. This event is free. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs.
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For those of you who have lost a loved one, honor his or her memory by sharing a picture on Facebook or your preferred social media platform.
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Wherever you are on Memorial Day, please take pause at 3 p.m. local time for the National Moment of Remembrance. In 2000, Congress instituted this National Moment to remind citizens of the meaning of Memorial Day. On this day at 3 p.m., every American is to pause for just one minute in memory of the fallen. That really is the least we can do.
However you choose to spend the day, please join all of us at Hatchett Design Remodel as we take the time to honor our fallen and put their memory back into Memorial Day.