For some, Memorial Day weekend is filled with hot dogs, beach days, ice cream, and fun with family and friends. For others, Memorial Day is spent as it was intended: honoring those who lost their lives for their country.

Three years after the Civil War ended, an organization of Union veterans established what was then called “Decoration Day” on May 30th, 1868. On Decoration Day, the country gathered to decorate the graves of those who lost their lives to war with flowers.

Memorial Day honors and remembers the many, many service members whose lives we have lost. With Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune being such integral parts of our communities, this day of reverence is close to home. This Memorial Day, take time to reflect and respect both the fallen that this day memorializes and their families and loved ones.

There are many ways to honor Memorial Day, and we hope you’ll spend a moment, or the whole day, reflecting on the ultimate sacrifice made by fallen service members and thinking of their families. Here are a few ways to give back this Memorial Day.

  • Make a donation to a charity like the Wounded Warrior Project
  • Decorate graves with red, white, and blue flowers
  • Do something special for a military family in your neighborhood
  • Volunteer your time with a local Veterans Association