Memorial Day honors United States military personnel who died while serving their country. It isn’t a holiday widely recognized among churches and has instead become more of a weekend to kick off summer. Take time this year to commemorate the true meaning of this holiday as a church community.

Prepare for it. Help people rediscover what Memorial Day is about. Post trivia questions on announcement media slides or in the bulletin each Sunday in May. Share stories from servicemen and women and their families.

Memorialize it. While Memorial Day honors those who have died, it comforts those who are still living. Find ways to comfort those who have lost a loved one who was serving his or her country. Decorate your backyard, and invite veterans and families to celebrate. Adopt a cemetery or memorial park, and help keep it maintained all summer. Organize a Prayer Army, inviting people to sign up for one or more days through the calendar year and dedicate time to pray on that day for those who have lost someone so every day of the year is covered.

Personalize it. At your next event or gathering, invite women to write notes of encouragement to veterans, who often struggle around Memorial Day as they remember those they served with who didn’t survive. Serving in the military is a sacrifice, and living with the memories is also a sacrifice. Thank and honor them.