Officially declared a national holiday in 1971, Memorial Day gives U.S. citizens a chance to pause and honor those who have died in the Armed Forces, as well as give back to the veterans, current servicepersons and families who have made daily sacrifices for their country.

The Utah community offers plenty of ways to pay tribute to these men and women — here are 10 of them.

1. Volunteer to place flags on veteran’s graves.

When: Thursday, May 25, 3-5 p.m.

Where: Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary.

What: Meet outside the cemetery office for flags and maps of where to put them.

2. Celebrate National Poppy Day by wearing a poppy.

When: Friday, May 26.

What: Poppies became a symbol of remembrance when the bloomed on the battlefields of France and Belgium in World War I. Donate to the American Auxiliary Legion in exchange for a crepe paper poppy to wear on Friday — 100% of the proceeds will veterans, military personnel and their families.

3. Participate in the first annual Salt Lake City Memorial Day 5K.
When: Saturday, May 27, 8 a.m.

Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium.

What: Detachment 850 of the Air Force ROTC at the University of Utah will facilitate a 5K through the streets surrounding the U, along with live music, a slip ’n slide and giveaways. A service will be held on the stadium field after the race.

Volunteer Tate Cocciniglio, 11, places a flag at a marker at Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery in Sandy on Thursday, May 27, 2021. More than 200 youth volunteers from around the Salt Lake Valley honored military veterans for Memorial Day by placing 3,000 American flags on the graves of service members. In addition, they swept and polished headstones and helped beautify cemetery grounds. | Annie Barker, Deseret News

4. Participate in the Run of Remembrance.

When: Monday, May 29, 8 a.m. or 9:30 a.m.

Where: Robinson Park in American Fork.

What: Runtastic Events will host a 10K, 5K and mile run for children and adults to remember fallen heroes. Food will be served at the finish line.

5. Attend the Utah Memorial Day Ceremony at the Capitol.

When: Monday, May 29, 10 a.m.

Where: South steps of the Utah State Capitol.

What: Organized by the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs, the service will feature remark by Gov. Spencer Cox and U.S. Rep. Blake Moore, a musical performance and a 21 gun solute by the Utah National Guard. Wreaths and flags will be on display all day.

6. Attend the Larkin Mortuary Memorial Day Program.

When: Monday, May 29, 10 a.m.

Where: Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery.

What: Hear from Jennie Taylor, a Gold Star wife and civilian aide to the Secretary of Army. The service will also feature the Hill Air Force Honor Guard, Minuteman Brass Quintet, Alta High School Madrigals and the Utah Firefighters Emerald Society.

7. Attend the Kaysville Cemetery Memorial Day Program.

When: Monday, May 29, 10 a.m.

Where: West side of Kaysville Cemetery.

What: Hear from “Coming Home, a Memoir” author Brooke Walters, whose husband died at age 30 in Afghanistan two months after their baby girl was born.

Allen Back visits his parents’ and aunt’s grave at Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery in Sandy on Monday, May 31, 2021. | Annie Barker, Deseret News

8. Attend the Provo Cemetery Memorial Day Service.

When: Monday, May 29, 10 a.m.

Where: Provo City Cemetery.

What: The Freedom Festival is partnering with the Provo City Veterans Council to host a service honoring those lost while serving in the Armed Forces.

9. Attend the Draper Cemetery service.

When: Monday, May 29, 3 p.m.

Where: Draper Cemetery.

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What: Enjoy a “simple service” with brief remarks, the playing of taps and a moment of silence for those who have died in service.

10. Visit the Remember and Honor boot display.

When: Thursday, May 26, to Tuesday, May 30, times vary.

Where: Station Park in Farmington and Mountain View Village in Riverton.

What: Operation Hero will honor everyone who died in service since 9/11 with its annual event displaying more than 350 combat boots, some of which have been decorated by the service members’ loved ones to tell their stories. Proceeds from the silent auction will go to Families of the Fallen and Survivor Outreach Services.

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