May 30, 1868, marked the first national observance – “Decoration Day,” to recognize and honor 623,026 soldiers who died during the
Civil War, the deadliest war in American history. World War I and World War II together claimed the lives of 626,000 soldiers and
servicemen. Our men and women in the armed forces continue to fight wars and die to secure the freedoms we enjoy in the United States.
When the last Monday of the month approaches, excitement rises as people make plans for their well-deserved vacations. People celebrate Memorial Day by enjoying firework displays, barbeques, and picnics with family and friends, sometimes forgetting the true meaning of Memorial Day. As a corporate leader, however, you can help remind your employees of those heroes who lost their lives for the safety of us all.
Ways to Remember
You can honor servicemen and women in your workplace by using the suggestions below:
- The American Flag
- Conceal your company branding and or flags and give prominence to the American flag.
- Fly the American flag at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, then raise the flag until sunset.
- Show Empathy
You can show your empathy toward staff who have lost loved ones in war, or who have or know someone currently serving by creating an office memorial. Designate an area in your office and encourage employees to post pictures of their fallen or active veterans in their lives.
- Lead by Example
Share your personal thoughts about what Memorial Day means to you by writing and sending a memo to your staff.
- Offer Resources
- If your organization is closed during the holiday, encourage your staff to take part in the area activities organized to honor fallen heroes.
- If your business is open on Memorial Day, place a selection of photos from any of the military cemeteries in the states and abroad that exist to honor fallen servicemen.
- Provide employees with resources that will give them an opportunity to volunteer at organizations set up to help soldiers who suffer from physical or mental injuries because of their time on the battlefield.
- Give your employees the opportunity to give back by organizing a volunteer program to help veterans.
- If your organization is open on Memorial Day, allow your staff to wear red, white, and blue.
- Hand out flag mementos for employees to remember.
- At 3:00 PM, have a company-wide moment of silence.
To conclude, when the kick-off of summer arrives, (Memorial Day), it’s important to remember its true meaning. You can help keep the memory alive by creating an environment that commemorates the cost of American freedoms.
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