Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, is a day to commemorate the men and women who have died in the military service of the United States.
Observed on the last Monday in May, it is traditional to fly the flag at half-staff from dawn until noon on Memorial Day. Many families visit cemeteries and place flags on the graves of loved ones who died in the service of their country.
Other typical Memorial Day observances include a parade with the American Legion color guard, veterans and their families, local politicians, and local community members.
Memorial Day is recognized as a federal holiday, and all non-essential government offices are closed.
How can you and your family observe Memorial Day?
Send a care package to an active duty serve member. Instructions on what to include in the package and where to send it can be found at anysoldier.com
Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3 PM local time, a moment of national unity. Established in 2000, it is a chance for Americans young and old to show gratitude and respect for those who died in the service of our country.
Make and display the American flag. Children can make the flag with construction paper and straws.
Attend a Memorial Day observance in your town. If your town doesn’t hold one, speak to elected officials about planning one.
Speak to your children about the meaning of Memorial Day and the sacrifice that service members and their families make for our safety. Many people see this as a day off from school or work, and the beginning of the summer season, and not a day of remembrance of those who gave their lives for the country’s safety and freedom.
Dogs and cats – and pigeons, horses, oxen and even elephants – have served with Army and Navy service persons for much of history. These brave animals have not only provided essential services and moral support for soldiers and sailors under wartime conditions far from home, they’ve saved lives and sometimes given their own lives for the humans who cared for them.
The HMS Hermione, a British Royal Navy anti-aircraft cruiser during WWII, acquired a ship’s mascot shortly after it entered the war in 1939: Convoy, a black and white cat who was not only officially listed with the ship’s crew, but assigned a sailor’s kit including a pint-sized hammock. While the Hermione patrolled the Mediterranean, Convoy kept the crews’ spirits uplifted. In 1942, the Hermione was attacked by a German U-205 and struck by a torpedo; 87 crewmen and Convoy went down with the ship.
TBC or That Bloody Cat was found on the River Clyde in 1941 by a crewman aboard the HM SGB-7, a Scottish steam gunboat as a black and white kitten almost frozen to death. However, with care TBC soon recovered and proved himself a warrior, running to the bridge snarling when the Action Alarm sounded. TBC also enjoyed his ration of rum. When the ship was docked, he typically used the torpedo tubes to disembark. One day prior to the SGB-7’s sinking in 1942, he slipped, fell into the ocean and drowned.
During the Vietnam War, a German shepherd named Kaiser was assigned to D Company, First Marines, 3rd Marine Division as a scout dog. Together, he and his handler did combat patrols and military operations. In 1966, they were ambushed by the Viet Cong. Kaiser was shot and didn’t survive his wounds. He was the first dog killed during the Vietnam conflict.
Greeting Card Universe joins you in celebrating all our wartime heroes – four legged or two legged – with our unique Memorial Day cards. Order on-line, add your personal message and we’ll send your cards through the mail the next business day. Or order on-line and get free in-store pick-up, usually in 1 hour, at most Target and Bartell Drug Stores.
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Memorial Day in the United States is celebrated on the last Monday in May, a day set aside for honoring those who have served their country in the Armed Forces, the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. Here are three heroes who may be unknown to you, but should be remembered.
Private Roger W. Young: As a young man, he joined a company of the Ohio National Guard in 1938. His company was activated in 1940 and became part of the 37th Infantry Division which was assigned to the South Pacific. Young has a hearing problem and at his request, was demoted in rank from Sergeant to Private. On July 31, 1943, Young saved his squad in the Solomon Islands when the men were pinned down by Japanese machine guns. Risking his life, he got close enough to the shooters to throw hand grenades despite being wounded by bullets. He died, but his squad suffered no further casualties.He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his brave sacrifice.
James Henry Mills: A farm boy who’d tried to volunteer for service but been turned down because of his frail physique, Mills was eventually allowed to sign up in 1944 at age 21. The first time he saw combat, he earned a Medal of Honor by single-handedly saving his entire platoon. Assigned point ahead of the other men, Mills first encountered a German machine gunner. While under fire, he captured both the gunner and his assistant, then went on to capture another German planning to ambush the American soldiers with a grenade. Next, Mills – still alone – came under fire from six Germans. He charged them with his rifle, causing them toe surrender. Two more machine gunners were shot, another captured. He then volunteered to provide cover fire for the rest of the platoon. By the end of the action, Mills had killed 4 enemy, taken 9 more prisoner, and caused the capture of a further 24. He died in 1973, the victim of a robbery-homicide.
John Belton White: A hero of World War I, White sustained an astonishing 63 battle wounds caused by machine guns, rifles, bayonets and shrapnel. In 1917, White joined the American Expeditionary Force and was sent to France where he fought in numerous battles including The Somme, earning the Distinguished Service Cross (awarded by General Pershing on the battlefield) and the Croix de Guerre in addition to being officially cited three times in official dispatches for his heroism. His many injuries caused him to to be sent home to the US in 1918, where he served as a motorcycle courier in New Jersey between Camp Merritt and Hoboken. An accident left him with severe injuries and he died 6 hours later.
Greeting Card Universe honors all the soldiers, sailors, airmen and others who have given their lives in service to the US Armed Forces by offering unique Memorial Day cards. Just order on-line and we’ll put your cards in the mail the next business day. Or get free in-store pick-up – usually in 1 hour – at most Target and Bartell Drug Stores.
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In the United States, Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May. The official national holiday honors the men and women who have died while serving in the Armed Forces. It’s also an opportunity to thank military personnel for their service to their country and acknowledge the sacrifices they’ve made.
Here are some interesting facts about Memorial Day:
- The holiday was originally called Decoration Day and began to be observed in 1868, just after the Civil War.
- Memorial Day became an official national federal holiday in 1971.
- A red poppy is worn on Memorial Day in remembrance of fallen soldiers—the symbolism comes from a famous poem, In Flanders Field by Lt. Colonel John McCrae written in 1915.
- For many Americans, Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer.
- Across the country at 3 P.M. local time, a national moment of remembrance takes place.
- In 1966, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed Waterloo, New York the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
- Many cities and towns hold Memorial Day parades which include military and veteran’s organizations.
- The Indianapolis 500 is held annually over the Memorial Day weekend.
Greeting Card Universe appreciates the sacrifices made by our service men and women. To help you thank a soldier, sailor, submariner, pilot, Marine, or other veteran in your life, or to remember a fallen hero, we offer a unique collection of Memorial Day cards including relationship specific so no one gets left out. Order on-line and we’ll mail your cards next business day!
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On Memorial Day in the U.S., observed on the fourth Monday in May, we celebrate and remember America’s fallen heroes, and pay tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces who have given all for their country. In the spirit of honoring this national day of tribute, we bring you 3 Heroes You Should Know on Memorial Day.
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
Corporal Alvin York: In 1918, during the Battle of Argonne, York and his battalion came upon a nest of German machine guns. He and thirteen other men were ordered to go behind enemy lines, where they captured the headquarters of a German unit. However, a second unit began firing on them. Nine Americans were killed. While under fire, York charged a trench and shot six German soldiers. At the end of the assault, he and his surviving seven men captured 132 German soldiers. For his actions, York received a Medal of Honor.
Lieutenant Benjamin F. Wilson: In 1951, during the Korean War, WWII veteran Wilson – then a sergeant – was ordered along with his company to take “Hell Hill,” defended by a superior, hostile force of Chinese soldiers. During the action, he was wounded in the leg and carried down the hill on a stretcher. However, preferring to remain with his men, he returned to the battle. Under heavy fire, he charged alone with bayonet, rifle and grenades, killing 4 enemy soldiers armed with sub-machine guns. He led a further assault, and when his rifle was wrested from his hands, killed a further 4 enemy solders with his entrenching tool. For his actions, he received the Medal of Honor.
Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta: In 2007 in Afghanistan, Giunta’s battalion was ambushed by insurgents armed with rocket propelled grenades, AK-47s, and machine guns, injuring several soldiers in his unit. While under heavy fire, Giunta rescued his squad leader, and was struck twice by bullets, though not wounded. With two other soldiers, he advanced toward the enemy through machine gun and small arms fire, throwing grenades. When he spotted two combatants attempting to drag away Staff Sgt. Joshua Brennan, who had been wounded. Giunta ran forward, firing at the enemy and killing one, and causing the rest to flee without Brennan. For his actions, Giunta became the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.
Greeting Card Universe’s collection of custom Memorial Day greeting cards allows you to honor the soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and submariners who risk their lives every day in the performance of their duties, and let your patriotism and gratitude shine.
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“Very nice card. The inside message was printed correctly. I ordered this card for my daughter who recently had her lab research published in a journal. It was nice to be able to personalize it. I was very happy with the card.” — Barbara, May 14, 2012
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard…
Although Memorial Day (May 30) is coming up soon, and it’s a time to remember fallen heroes who gave their all for their country, it’s also an opportunity for you to do something for the men and women serving today in the U.S. Armed Forces, and make a real difference in their lives. You can support our troops in a number of ways. Here are a couple of ideas:
Any Soldier Inc., is a volunteer organization and network that helps organize the effort to get stuff “from home” to deployed military members of every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces who don’t get much or any mail. You can pay them a visit to learn about how it works and find out what you can do.
Another volunteer organization, A Million Thanks, also helps you show your appreciation through organizing letters and cards to military men and women who need your support
Letters are by far the most requested items asked for by soldiers far from their country, their friends, their family, their home. Sending a card with a note inside not only helps brighten someone’s day, you could make a new friend. At Greeting Card Universe, we have lots of one-of-a-kind ways to say “thinking of you,” or “thanks” to a soldier, sailor, submariner, airman or Marine far from home who’s hoping to make a friendly connection.