Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women that have given their lives serving in the U.S. military. While we can’t ever fully repay them for their ultimate sacrifice, there are still ways we can reflect on their efforts and honor their lives. Keep reading to find ways to commemorate our fallen soldiers and recognize the solemn meaning behind Memorial Day.
Learn more about the holiday’s history
With Veterans Day and Memorial Day on the calendar, it can be hard to remember what each holiday focuses on. Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May and honors the lives of soldiers who died during their service in the military. Veterans Day honors those serving in the military, both deceased and living. According to an article by History, Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and originated after the Civil War. It became an official federal holiday in 1971.
Visit a local veterans cemetery
Vehicles for Veterans reports there are “34 national cemeteries as well as dozens of state cemeteries where veterans and soldiers are buried” in the U.S. Seeing the gravesites may make the holiday feel more real and can provide an opportunity to learn more about past wars.
Support living veterans
Though Memorial Day is about remembering past soldiers, you don’t have to honor living veterans only on Veterans Day. Reach out to a friend or family member that has served and ask them to share their military stories with you, if they are willing. There are also organizations, like the Fisher House Foundation or Operation Second Chance, that help support veterans in need.
Tackle a CrossFit hero workout
Instead of swimming or cooking hot dogs on the grill, try something new this Memorial Day and challenge yourself to an intense CrossFit hero workout. Since 2005, “CrossFit has posted workouts meant to honor the memories of CrossFit service members who made the ultimate sacrifice and exemplary members of the CrossFit community who are no longer with us,” states the official CrossFit site. There are over 1,000 hero workouts of the day listed on the site, with pictures and descriptions of each deceased veteran that inspired the exercises.
Virtually visit a Washington, D.C., war memorial
In 2019, the United Service Organizations traveled to Washington, D.C., and captured 360-degree videos of multiple war memorials, including the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. Check out both videos, and read about other D.C.-area memorials here.