(WMC) - Memorial Day is upon us and many families are heading to beaches, planning visits with family, or making preparations to light up the grill. But, Memorial Day is a special day set aside to remember those who have given their life in service to the United States.
Memorial monuments adorn states all across the country, and even overseas, honoring those who have fallen.
During this holiday weekend, if you're looking for something to do to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for your freedom, here are some tips:
1.) Don't thank a veteran for his/her service: It's not Veterans Day, it's Memorial Day. Veterans are honored and recognized in November, but this is an especially somber and important time for them to remember the friends and comrades they have lost. Instead, observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. for fallen service members.
2.) Attend a Memorial Day event: Most military bases and veterans organizations will host an event or cities will host a parade for Memorial Day honoring those who have died. Many veterans cemeteries and parks, such as Shiloh Military Park, will host events all weekend long and especially on Monday. Attend those events and spend some time reflecting before you hit the beach or river.
3.) Change your profile picture and/or cover picture on social media: It's a simple way for you to acknowledge the sacrifices of those who have served and the families they have left behind. Change the social media pictures to an American flag, Arlington National Cemetery, any other monument honoring the fallen, or especially a photo of someone who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the service.
4.) Donate to a charity that helps families of the fallen: Before making a donation, however, make sure to check out the charity. Make sure the charity helps service members and their families and doesn't spend a large portion of their money on salaries for staff.
5.) Take a few minutes to visit a veterans cemetery or military monument: Place a flag on a veteran's grave or leave a flag at a monument. Many will allow you to volunteer to place flags on the graves or help with the cemetery in other ways.
These are only a few tips and there are many other ways to honor the fallen during Memorial Day weekend.