VFW Remembers Our Fallen

There is no freedom without bravery, and those we honor on Memorial Day were brave when it counted most

WASHINGTON — On Memorial Day, May 27, in quiet services across the country, the more than 1.4 million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and its Auxiliary will come together to remember the men and women who lost their lives in military service.

Graves at Arlington National Cemetery with a US flag placed in front
Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), along with service members from across the Armed Forces, place American flags at headstones during "Flags In” at the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., 25 May, 2023. For over 55 years, flags are placed at each headstone in the cemetery covering 639 acres of land in honor of the nations’ fallen heroes.(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Oscar Toscano)
As we gather and observe this Memorial Day, we carry on a tradition originally called Decoration Day, a holiday officially proclaimed in 1868 to honor those who died during the Civil War. After World War I, the solemn day was expanded to honor those killed in all wars. It became an official federal holiday in 1971, set aside to remember all those who died in service to the United States. Read the 2024 White House proclamation here.

Generation after generation, our nation has been fortunate enough to have service members who continue to believe that freedom is worth fighting for, and if necessary, dying for. There is no freedom without bravery, and those we honor on Memorial Day were brave when it counted most.

This Memorial Day, the VFW reminds our nation that we must live the America they died for … a country of freedom, equality, opportunity and unlimited promise. The VFW encourages you to take time this Memorial Day, and every day, reflecting on those who made the ultimate sacrifice in support and defense of the Constitution of the United States. There is no better way to honor those who gave all than to remember them, honor their service, mourn their loss, and show gratitude to the families they left behind.