This year, Memorial Day weekend will look a little different in towns and cities across Indiana.
It will be a little bit quieter and a little less raucous — the Indy 500 will run in August, and many other large gatherings are also postponed.
But one thing can’t be postponed. We must honor our heroes no matter what, including every single Hoosier who has made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation in uniform.
Memorial Day has its roots in the period following the Civil War — which saw the largest number of American military casualties of any war in our history. Honoring those who lost their lives defending our freedoms is a tradition that we must keep, no matter the circumstances.
Here are some ways that you can honor our fallen service members while staying safe this Memorial Day:
- Fly Your Flag – There’s no better way to honor America than flying our colors – red, white and blue! Here’s a FAQ from the American Legion on the proper ways to display Old Glory.
- Visit a War Memorial – Our state’s capital city, Indianapolis, has more acreage dedicated to honoring our fallen heroes than any other U.S. city – and the city’s number of war memorials is only second to Washington, D.C. Due to COVID-19, you won’t be able to go inside these monuments, but you can plan socially-distanced visits outside.
- Support our Service Organizations – Service organizations like the American Legion (headquartered in Indiana!), the Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, and others are run by our veterans and honor their fellow servicemembers they have lost. Consider supporting these organizations as they’ve supported us.
- Light a Candle – Light a candle and put it on your front porch at dusk to light our communities in remembrance of our fallen heroes. Read more from the American Legion on what the colors of each candle symbolize.
- Have a Moment of Silence – As an act of symbolic unity, join Americans across the country for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.
- Visit a Military Cemetery – Take a moment to visit the final resting place of those who gave their lives defending freedom. You can find a map of military cemeteries in Indiana here.
- Volunteer – Take some time to serve others by volunteering for an organization that’s important to you.
- Watch a Military Documentary – Sometimes it’s hard to fully understand the experiences our veterans bring home, and the sacrifices they have made. Listening to them share their experiences can help us try to grasp their sacrifice. We recommend Ken Burns’ documentaries – The War, The Vietnam War, and The Civil War.
- Read Ernie Pyle’s War Columns – This Hoosier was a war correspondent during World War II, and shared the stories of the soldiers fighting on the front lines with the entire world. You can read some of his remarkable columns here.
- Post Your Tribute on Social Media – Since we can’t go out and attend Memorial Day ceremonies or parades, join other Americans showing their gratitude online for our veterans and fallen heroes. Post your appreciation on social media using the hashtag #MemorialDay!
- Check in on a Vet in Your Life – Memorial Day is for those who died, but we can never forget those who lived. With all that’s going on now, check in on a veteran in your life – a family member, a friend, neighbor, fellow church-goer. A phone call can go a long way.
We hope that you find our suggestions useful and that they help you honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day.
-Your Holcomb Crew