How Funeral Directors Observe Memorial Day (Infographic)

In honor of Memorial Day, let’s take a moment to remember all those who have served our country. The following infographic looks at the history of Memorial Day as well as how funeral directors and cemetery professionals observe the national holiday.

This infographic was originally posted on

I Remembered A Vet Today

Memorial Day is commemorated in many ways to show respect for those who have died for serving our country. Whether visiting a national cemetery or gathering with friends and family, take time to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time to observe a moment of silence.

The History of Memorial Day

This timeline highlights key events and Memorial Day traditions

May 1868 – General John Logan proclaimed the first Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery.

1873 – New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday.

1890 – Northern states celebrated Memorial Day while the South held their own day of remembrance.

July 1913 – Veterans of the United States and Confederate armies gathered in Gettysburg to commemorate the fifty-year anniversary.

1915 – Moina Michael wrote: “We cherish too, the Poppy red that grows on fields where valor led, it seems to signal the skies that blood of heroes never dies.” The poem inspired “red poppy” charities and many individuals to wear red poppies on Memorial Day.

1917 – The song “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” was first patented by George A Norton.

1948 – The US Post Office honored Ms. Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

1949 – The Movie “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” brought new fame to the song of the same name.

1968 – Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, moving Memorial Day to the 4th Monday in May to create a 3-day weekend.

1970’s – The symbol became popularly known with the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Veterans of War Deserve to be Honored

The observances most often suggested by cemeterians and funeral directors in our online survey.

Folding and Presenting of the Burial Flag – 100% suggested

Playing of Taps – 100% suggested

Presence of Uniformed Military Personnel – 100% suggested

Burial Arrangements at a Military Cemetery – 50% suggested

Specific Headstones or Markers – 89% suggested

Presidential Memorial Certificates – 44% suggested

Caskets or Urns with Military Design – 78% suggested

Military Emblem on Hearse – 11% suggested

Ways to Commemorate Memorial Day

We asked funeral directors and cemeterians how their organizations observe Memorial Day.

56% – Fly a US flat at half staff until noon

33% – Celebrate in other ways:

• Co-host a community event

• Small flags in front of funeral homes

• Visiting the graves of fallen soldiers

• Participate in flag placing

22% – Provide public decoration

5.6% – Fly a POW MIA flag

5.6% – Take part in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 pm while Taps is played


Kelly Murad


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