While Memorial Day is the day of commemoration for United States service men and women who have given their lives while in military service, it is easy to forget the meaning behind the extra day off from work. Thus, in 2000, Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance.
What is the National Moment of Remembrance?
The National Moment of Remembrance takes place on Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time, and it is one minute in duration. The remembrance moment is just that: a time to pause, remain silent, and reflect upon the freedoms we enjoy and those who have died to ensure we have said freedoms.
The National Moment of Remembrance: What’s the purpose for it?
According to the National Moment of Remembrance website, the National Moment of Remembrance was established to bring Memorial Day back to the noble and sacred holiday it was meant to be. No matter who you are or what your beliefs are, it takes a mere minute to join in the National Moment of Remembrance and give a silent prayer or thank you.
Remember.gov lists three reasons why we Americans should honor the National Moment of Remembrance: to remember the memory of our fallen soldiers, to unite Americans in a moment of gratitude and respect, and “provide a sense of history to our citizens and ensure that younger generations understand the sacrifices made to preserve our liberties.”
What’s the history of the National Moment of Remembrance?
Again, according to the National Moment of Remembrance website, the idea for holding a moment of remembrance came about when children touring the national capital were asked what Memorial Day means, and “…the day the pool opens” was the response. The site quotes a Gallup poll which states only 28% of Americans know what Memorial Day is.
From this research, Congress formed a committee called The White House Commission of Remembrance. The committee’s task is to promote the values of Memorial Day.
How can I celebrate the National Moment of Remembrance?
Are you unsure of what to do during the one minute of silence? Christianity.about.com offers several Christian prayers to read, which can be done during the National Moment of Remembrance.
Silently reading poetry, such as “Forget Me Not” by Bill Chance, is another way to commemorate our fallen soldiers during the National Moment of Remembrance. If you have never heard of the poem, which starts out by quoting the National Anthem (Remember rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air, gave threw the night that our flag is still there), I urge you to read it.
Whatever you decide to think about during the National Moment of Remembrance, join hands with your companions, bow your head, and give silent thanks to those who have died for your freedom to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance to begin with.
“National Moment of Reflection”, Remember.gov
“Memorial Day”, Wikipedia.org
“Memorial Day Prayers”, About.com
“Forget Me Not”, USMemorialDay.org