For many, Memorial Day is about rest, retail and barbecue. For etiquette expert Sharon Schweitzer, founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, it is about honoring the war dead by serving the living. Here are her tips for a meaningful holiday weekend:
Remember the roots – Memorial Day’s predecessor, Decoration Day, was marked by the decoration of military graves with flags, candles and flowers, especially poppies, a symbol of World War I. These are commonly displayed in communities across the country at barbecues and pool parties. Why not yours?
Celebrate the present by inviting military members or veterans to your event. Reserve time to play “Taps” and have a moment of silence with your guests. Support a local military parade. Write letters to veterans with your children. Volunteer at your local VA hospital. Provide guests with red poppy party favors to honor the day.
Observe the National Moment of Remembrance, created by President Bill Clinton, at 3 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, which is May 29 this year. Take the time to salute and reflect on those who gave their all.
Visit a museum or monument — Memorial Day is the perfect time to look into special events. Washington D.C. is home to the country’s largest parade this weekend. Arlington National Cemetery provides roses for visitors to place on graves as they pay their respects. Local museums may have extended hours.
Above all, be thankful for our many blessings as a nation.
We at WAG salute our veterans and war dead. May the sacrifices that have led us in war and preserved us in peace never be forgotten.
Happy Memorial Day.
For more, visit protocolww.com.
– By Georgette Gouveia