Memorial Day arrives this weekend, and it is a time to reflect on the service of those who answered our nation’s call in times of armed conflict, and made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure future generations of Americans would remain free. I wanted to take an opportunity to reflect on the holiday and the traditions associated with it.
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.
The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.
During a parade it is appropriate to salute only the first United States flag.
Raising and Lowering the Flag
The Flag of the United States is always the first to be raised, to the highest point, and last to be lowered. It may never touch the ground.
The flag should be raised at sunrise and lowered at sunset, but can remain raised if illuminated throughout the night.
The flag should be hoisted quickly. Salute the flag while it is being raised. If you are flying the flag at half staff, raise the flag all the way to the top of the pole and then lower it to halfway between the top and the bottom of the flagpole.
The flag should be lowered slowly, with dignity and ceremony. Salute the flag while it is being lowered. Hold your salute until the flag is removed or, if there is music, until the music stops. If the flag was flying at half staff, raise the flag all the way to the top of the flagpole and then lower it.
The Flag in Mourning
On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff fromnoon to sunset.
When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.
This Memorial Day, let us not forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.