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Honoring Veterans on Memorial Day

Memorial Day was established three years after the Civil War ended in May 1868. Initially called Decoration Day, it was a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

To ensure the sacrifices of America's fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law The National Moment of Remembrance Act, encouraging all Americans at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day to pause wherever they are for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: "It's a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day."
Single roses marked the graves of the unknown on May 31 during Memorial Day events at the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial near Carthage, Tunisia.
Photo by Rick Scavetta, U.S. Army Africa

As Hospice providers, we can support our families who honor and grieve for loved ones who gave their life in service to our country, just as we support our veterans living with serious illness in our community of care. You can do a great service and provide enormous comfort by learning about the resources below, and helping family members access them:

  • The Hospice Action Network encourages honoring Veterans on Memorial Day
  • The Library of Congress's Veterans History Project is committed to honoring veterans and collecting their stories.
  • The US Dept. of Veteran Affairs encourages community hospice providers to guide families who want a military burial or want to access burial benefits available to Veterans. For example, US flags are provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of deceased Veterans who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces.

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