I hope you all have a chance to do something meaningful today to honor those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and the freedom of people around the world.
One of my earliest memories of Memorial Day was while visiting my grandparents in Winchester TX. The were life-long members of St Michael's Evangelical Lutheran Church. LCMS. My parents were married in that church in 1956, and I was baptized there in 1958. My grandmother, Clara Amanda nee Mitschke Zoch, would always be involved with Decoration Day activities at the church's cemetery. As I remember, church members would spruce up the cemetery in general (kind of a spring cleaning), and then make sure flowers and flags were on all deceased veterans' graves. Being Lutheran, I'm sure there was a pot-luck social of some type. Even though the name was officially changed to Memorial Day in the 1960s, this was always Decoration Day for my grandmother.
Another Memorial Day tradition that you don't see much of these days is the sale of "Buddy" Poppies. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) began the Buddy Poppy campaign back in 1922 to help support disabled and needy veterans. It is my understanding that this campaign still exists, but I have not seen a Buddy Poppy in quite some time. When I was in school in the 1960s and 1970s, it was common for students to sell Buddy Poppies. Perhaps this is one more tradition that has been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.