By Katie Lange
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
We all enjoy a good barbecue, being outside and hanging with family over Memorial Day weekend, but a lot of people tend to forget what the holiday is all about – remembering and honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Thankfully, here at the Defense Department, there are plenty of events planned every year to honor those we’ve lost. If you’re interested in learning how you can take part, check out these videos of events that highlight the true meaning of the day.
A Day for “Flags In”
Perhaps the most recognized commemoration happens yearly just outside Washington, D.C. That’s where soldiers from the Old Guard place American flags at gravesites for service members at Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in a tradition known as “Flags In.” Check it out below:
Make Way for Rolling Thunder!
The Rolling Thunder Run is a hugely popular event that also happens in D.C. every Memorial Day weekend. It’s a motorcycle ride and rally that goes from the Pentagon through the streets of D.C., bringing together veterans from all eras who want to pay their respects to everyone who served. The event started as a demonstration decades ago to bring attention to the POW/MIA situation after the Vietnam War, but it’s grown into so much more:
For Many, Just Making It to “The Wall” Is a Struggle
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C. is a touching reminder of the ultimate sacrifice thousands of service members made during that era. But, as a National Park Service guide explains in this video, it’s also a difficult place for many who survived the war to visit:
Honor Flights Help WWII Vets Pay Respects
Have you ever heard of Honor Flights? It’s an amazing organization that flies World War II veterans from around the country to D.C. to visit the National Mall to pay their respects to fallen brethren. The greetings and emotional experience they get from it are moving and priceless:
So don’t forget what the real meaning of Memorial Day is this year. Check out one of the many memorial events in D.C. or closer to your area if you get a chance, and tell us your stories of remembrance using the hashtag #HonorThem.
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