Observing Memorial Day – RV Style

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Observing Memorial Day – RV Style
Observing Memorial Day – RV Style

Observing Memorial Day – RV Style

The last Monday in May is Memorial Day, it is set aside to commemorate the men and women who have died in military service for the US. However, over time it has come to have more meaning as the beginning of summer and the true meaning of the day is slowly, quietly slipping away. It is important that we always remember what that day really means.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began as a way to honor Union Soldiers who had perished in the American Civil War. After World War I, the day was extended and became a way to remember all of the men and women who had died in any military action or war.

This year Memorial Day is on May 29. It is a national day of mourning.

When I lived in DC I visited Arlington National Cemetery several times. It is breathtaking and humbling. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend a visit. If you can catch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the experience will stay with you forever.

Northern Virginia has some incredible historical sites including Civil War battle grounds, George Washington’s homestead, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon Memorial, and several military museums. If you venture into the District, there are all of the National Monuments, including the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial. They are truly something to see.

On Memorial Day, various groups take time to put American flags on all the gravesites. It is a simple gesture to recognize and honor our fallen soldiers. The view is spectacular. Other groups do this in local cemeteries all across the country. It is a great family activity that helps children understand the huge sacrifice that so many of our soldiers made so that we could have the freedoms we do today.

Related Read: 5 Tips for a Great RV Memorial Day Weekend Getaway

If you are on the road, you may want to visit a historical landmark to get a little closer to our country’s roots. There are plenty of sites all over the country. However, if you are staying put, you can still show your respect by flying an American flag at half-staff from dawn until noon. This is a traditional observance of Memorial Day. One thing I’ve learned about RVers, we are a pretty patriotic bunch.

Other ways you can honor those who have paid the ultimate price for our liberty include:
  • Visit a memorial
  • Visit a cemetery and place flags or flowers on soldiers’ graves
  • Attend a religious service
  • Wear a flag pin or Memorial Day pin (traditionally, this is done from May 1 until Memorial Day)
  • Participate in a “National Moment of Remembrance.” At 3 pm local time, pause and reflect on what the day means. Where possible, Taps should be played.
Yes, do the barbecue and games. Spend quality time with your family and friends. Go ahead and have a blast. But please, take a moment in that day to remember. Share it with your children, tell them about it. We can’t let this day lose its meaning – it is far too important. We must always remember.
Do you have any loved ones who served their country? Who are you remembering on this day? Share their names so we can remember them too.

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Stephanie A. Mayberry


Stephanie A. Mayberry

Stephanie A. Mayberry escaped the hustle and bustle of city life in Washington, D.C. where she worked as an analyst, FOIA officer, and technical writer for the U.S. federal government to pursue her first love, freelance writing, full time. She has been a writer, author, public speaker, and photographer for more than 25 years; now she, her husband, and little dog Gizmo enjoy the laid back lifestyle as RV full-timers going wherever the wind takes them. Learn more about Stephanie at stephaniemayberry.com

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