Military Life

MEMORIAL DAY: National Moment of Remembrance

Jessica Evans Avatar

The National Moment of Remembrance (NMR) is observed annually on Memorial Day in the United States. It was created to encourage all Americans to pause for a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. local time. This allows each of us to remember and honor those who have died in service to our country.

How did the NMR come about?

The NMR is a relatively new military observance. In 1996, No Greater Love (NGL), a non-profit organization dedicated to brining hope and peace to the world, learned that children in the D.C. area thought of Memorial Day as “the day the pools open.” NGL founder Carmella LaSpada decided to do something about that. So she spearheaded an initiative to bring the ‘memorial’ back to Memorial Day. Select Congress members observed the day in 1997 and slowly gained steam. Then, in December 2000, Congress passed, and President Clinton signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” which created the NMR.

How Can You Participate in the NMR?

There are many ways you can participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. Here are some ideas.

Visit a cemetery or memorial and lay a wreath or flowers at a gravesite.

If you can’t get to a cemetery or memorial site, take a moment to remember someone you know who died while serving. Share stories of their life with family and friends. Or post about them on social media.

Display the flag at half-staff from noon until sundown on Memorial Day.

Educate your children or grandchildren about Memorial Day and why we celebrate it.

Attend a Memorial Day parade or ceremony in your community.

Write a letter to or call a veteran you know and thank them for their service.

Become a volunteer at a VA hospital, clinic, or veteran’s center.

Make a donation to an organization that supports veterans and their families.

No matter how you choose to participate, participating in the National Moment of Remembrance is a great way to honor those who have sacrificed for our country. 

Why Is It Important to Observe the National Moment of Remembrance?

Memorial Day is more than just a day off from work or school—it’s a day to remember those who have given their lives while serving our country. The National Moment of Remembrance is a moment for us to pause and reflect.