Although we cannot remember together, still we can remember
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude.
General John A. Logan’s proclamation for the first Decoration [Memorial] Day, May 1868
THE VIRTUAL CEREMONY
Traditionally, Memorial Day is commemorated with public gatherings at cemeteries like the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemeteries, churches, and memorials for ceremonies and dedications. We gather as communities to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country, and in those communal remembrances we find peace and gratitude. Unfortunately, in this time of social distancing we cannot host those kind of events. But we can still remember and honor those who have passed on in a more unique way than ever before – by bringing Memorial Day to you in your own home.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering, honoring, and mourning the military personnel who have passed while serving in the United States Armed Forces. To assist you in observing this important day from home, we have gathered respectful activities that you can use to commemorate, honor, and respect those who have died in military service.
The National Moment of Remembrance is an annual event that asks Americans, wherever they are at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause for a duration of one minute to remember those who have died in military service to the United States. Now more than ever it is fitting to remember those who died in service to our country by sounding Taps on Memorial Day, May 25th at 3 pm (local). You can sound the call from your home, porch, or on your front lawn. Please join us by playing this video and encourage your neighbors to do so as well.
The sounding of Taps at a military funeral is the most sacred duty a bugler can perform. The bugle call was written during the Civil War as an alternative to the traditional Extinguish Lights signal. In July 1862, Union General Daniel Butterfield and his bugler, Oliver Wilcox Norton, revised an existing bugle call to become the emotional melody we know today as Taps. The 24-note call, first known as Butterfield’s Lullaby, spread quickly through the Union Army and was even used in Confederate camps to signal the end of the day. At a battlefield funeral later that year, Captain John Tibble chose the playing of that call instead of the traditional volleys over the grave so as not to rouse the enemy. Today, Taps is heard in every corner of our country at funerals to honor our veterans.
Almost immediately after Taps was written, lyrics were set to the bugler’s call. The most popular are “Day is Done”. This video shares those and four additional verses.
Place a Window Flag
Artfully show your support this Memorial Day. Download this American flag coloring page or draw your own and place it in a window for all to see. You can even draw the flag with chalk on your sidewalk or driveway.
Learn Flag Etiquette
The presentation of the American flag to the fallen’s family is a moving tribute that honors the memory of one’s service to his or her country. A step-by-step guide for folding the flag can be downloaded below.
Set a Missing Man Table
A Missing Man Table is a memorial set up in military dining facilities in honor of fallen, missing, or imprisoned military service members. You can do the same at home with this downloadable instruction sheet.
Remember and Share
Memorial Day has been a time for gathering with friends and family. While spending time apart this year, our online community can join together, remember, and honor Wisconsin’s veterans and their families
Add a Facebook Frame
Virtually place a flag and flowers a Wisconsin hero’s headstone by using this Facebook frame on your profile picture. Search for it on Facebook by choosing “Add Frame” to your profile picture and searching #WIRemember.
Share Your Activities
Use #WIRemember on social media posts to show your friends who you are are remembering this Memorial Day. Remind them that although we cannot gather together, we collectively can show our support.