The Meaning of Honor on Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is a day we remember military personnel that has lost there lives serving our country.  On this day most people gather with friends and family for a barbecue but this year is different.
 
Parades are canceled and ceremonies are postponed even Arlington National Cemetery is only open to family pass holders.  So let’s take this opportunity to do what we can now and show honor on Memorial Day.  As well as, expand how we honor the fallen on a daily basis.
Display the US Flag
One of the easiest things to do is fly a US flag.  You can display the flag in several different ways, from mounting one on your house or attaching on to your car antenna.  Little flags in your yard or big flags on a pole, this gesture goes a long way.
 
The greatest expression of this is the tradition of “Flags In” at Arlington National Cemetery.  Small US Flags are placed a boot length from each and every gravestone in the cemetery.  You have to experience this at least once in your life.
 
If you have a flag on a pole it should be lowered to half-staff until noon then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. This is to honor the dead in the morning and the rest of the day to honor the living.  
If your flag can not be lowered, a black ribbon tied onto the pole just below the top ornament.  
Honor at the tombstone
Once we are able to visit gravesites in the cemeteries of the fallen, there are ways to pay your respects.  Small ways to let them know you care and are thinking about them.
 
Leaving a stone on their grave marker is an old Jewish tradition.  When a rock is left by a visitor is says “I remember you”.  If you pick up a rock from one of your journeys and place it on the tombstone later, you are saying “I remember you and I wish you were here”.
 
Coins are also popular items to be left behind.  Research on the internet shows there is a meaning in the denominations.  When this started and the universal use of it is up for discussion, either way I think it’s cool.  
 
  • Penny – means you were there
  • Nickel – means you and this soldier trained at boot camp together
  • Dime – means you served with them in some capacity
  • Quarter – means you were with them when they died
Lastly, the highest regard is leaving a challenge coin or a metal.  These hold special meaning between the individual leaving them and the fallen soldier only they will understand.
How do you show honor to our servicemen and women on Memorial Day?  How can you show them honor regularly?

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