This Memorial Day, and every Memorial Day, we honor all men and women who have served our country, and we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

You may have celebrations at work for seasonal holidays like Halloween, and you might take some time off around the winter holiday season. But what are some ways to observe a national holiday like Memorial Day?

In honor of this upcoming Memorial Day, we wanted to share some ideas for how you and your employees can honor this holiday.

1. Remember & honor those who have served.

You may have employees who are veterans, active-duty members, military spouses, or military parents. You may also have employees with relatives under the above criteria. If comfortable and willing, encourage those employees to share memories and photos of themselves or their relatives, and recognize them in a special way. An idea is to generate an employee spotlight by creating a collage along with a list of names to pay special tribute to all your organization’s veterans, active-duty members, military spouses, and parents, and share under your organization’s preferred method of communication.

2. Attend or observe a parade.

Visit your state’s government official website to see if any Memorial Day parades are taking place nearby or are being held virtually. Allow your employees the opportunity to attend or observe a Memorial Day parade to show their respect to those who have served.

3. Attend or observe a concert.

The United States (U.S) Department of Veterans Affairs recently shared details of “The National Memorial Day Concert.” This concert, taking place on May 30, 2021, is a three-decade tradition that reconnects people with the true spirit of the holiday via personal stories interlaced with musical performances by the National Symphony Orchestra and other performers. Spread the word with your employees and encourage them to watch if they are interested.

For more details of this annual concert, visit the recent article published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by clicking here.

4. Take part in the “National Moment of Remembrance.”

In December 2000, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act” was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.”

Feel free to share this information and to spread awareness of The National Moment of Remembrance.

5. Get involved as active volunteers.

Consider putting the spirit of Memorial Day into practice on or around the holiday by encouraging employees to volunteer for an organization that helps veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has opportunities for individuals to volunteer and donate to make an impact. Visit the Department’s site to learn more about how you and your workplace can get involved by clicking here.

If your organization offers volunteer days as a benefit or has a volunteer program, promote ways to volunteer with veteran support organizations throughout the year.

6. Get social.

Memorial Day is also a great time to connect with the community to foster conversations around the holiday, share stories, memories, and more. Use your organization’s social platforms to share what the holiday means to you and how you are remembering those who have served. Open the discussion to others to share what they are doing to celebrate.

7. Celebrate friends & family.

Be sure to utilize this time to cherish loved ones and show appreciation. Just like having an employee spotlight, encourage your employees to spotlight their families and enjoy the important day.

8. Thank a veteran.

While Memorial Day is a day to reflect and remember our fallen soldiers, it's also a great opportunity to thank those soldiers who have served in the past and are still serving now.

This can be done in many ways:

  • Send a thank you card or letter.
  • Provide the opportunity to a veteran relative or friend to talk about their time in service and thank them for it.
  • Donate to a veteran organization.
  • Just say “thank you.”

Ensure any veteran employees you may have feel extra appreciated on or around this holiday.

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Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding specific application of the information to your own plan.