Heartfelt Ways to Pay Tribute to a Departed Veteran This Memorial Day

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Monday, May 20, 2024

As Memorial Day approaches, we are reminded of the debt of gratitude we owe our departed servicemen and women.

While millions of Americans celebrate the holiday weekend with barbeques and parties, it can be a challenging time for those mourning the loss of a military veteran, even if it has been many years since their passing. As Memorial Day approaches, we are reminded of the many brave men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms. At Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services, we work closely with military families to develop distinguished memorial services and other touching tributes to celebrate their loved ones.

In this article, we share six meaningful ways to honor veterans and keep those precious memories alive this Memorial Day.

1.     Extend your thanks.

One of the most meaningful ways you can honor the memory of a departed veteran on Memorial Day is by simply offering your sincere appreciation to living veterans and those who are actively serving in the United States Armed Forces. Whether it’s a friend, family member, neighbor, or stranger you pass on the street, make a point to smile and express your gratitude by saying, "Thank you for your service!"

2.     Give your time.

Volunteering your time is a powerful way to remember servicemen and women on Memorial Day. You can make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families in many ways. Whether you spend time at a local veterans' hospital offering companionship, participate in community events dedicated to honoring veterans on Memorial Day, provide transportation assistance or help with errands, or offer some other act of kindness, even small gestures can make a big difference.

3.     Wear something red or buy a poppy.

Inspired by the 1915 poem "In Flanders Fields", the red poppy is worn on Memorial Day to honor the fallen and support the living who have worn our nation's uniform. The American Legion adopted this crimson flower as its official symbol of remembrance in 1920. Today, veterans are often located outside of supermarkets and convenience stores on Memorial Day weekend, offering handmade red poppies crafted from paper. If you spot a veteran seated at one of these "red poppy posts" please offer a generous donation and proudly wear it in honor of your loved one. You can also try your hand at crafting your own paper poppy or wear a red garment or other seasonal flower to indicate your remembrance.

4.     Pause for quiet reflection.

The National Moment of Remembrance resolution was passed in the year 2000. It asks that 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” at 3 PM on Memorial Day. During this time, take a few minutes to reflect on the sacrifices made by military men and women to secure our freedom and salute those who have given their all to defend our nation.

5.     Visit their resting place or a meaningful location.

A moving way to honor a departed veteran this Memorial Day is by visiting their gravesite, the place where their cremated remains were scattered, or some other location of significance. While you are there, remove any debris from the resting place and leave a fresh floral bouquet and/or an American flag to denote your remembrance.

6.     Proudly display the flag.

The American flag is a powerful symbol of freedom, democracy, and the sacrifices made by those who have served in the military. Before displaying the flag, take the time to familiarize yourself with proper flag etiquette. Understanding how to handle and display the flag with respect is essential in honoring the symbol of our nation and those who have served. Lower the flag to half-staff until noon on Memorial Day as a solemn tribute to the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. After noon, raise the flag to full-staff as a symbol of resilience and remembrance. This act represents the nation's commitment to honoring the memory of fallen soldiers while also acknowledging the enduring spirit of the American people.

The caring professionals at Batchelor Brother Funeral Services have decades of experience honoring our nation’s military members. If you need assistance planning a funeral for a beloved service member or are seeking additional ways to pay tribute to a departed veteran, please contact us. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please visit batchelorbrothers.com.

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