On Memorial Day the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the Capitol. The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.
For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the National Guard and other servicemen participating along with veterans and military vehicles from various wars.
Because Memorial Day is generally associated with the start of the summer season, it is common tradition to inaugurate the outdoor cooking season on Memorial Day with a barbecue.
For me personally, Memorial Day is a day in which I do not have to look for a veteran to hug and thank because they are here with me every day. I am both thankful and proud to say that both of my sons have served our country and they both served during the Iraqi War. Their grandfather, Boyce Thomas, was one of the first to hit the beaches of Normandy in WWII and I typed up his memoirs. I didn't realize until I read what he wrote what those soldiers went through from a first hand experience. It is a miracle from what I typed up from him that he came home at all.
Thank you Justin and Aaron for answering the call to defend this great nation for all of us.