Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died while in the service of this great country of ours. Originating after the Civil War (1861-1865), it is said that Memorial Day – or Decoration Day – was observed by decorating the gravesites of soldiers who died protecting this nation’s freedoms and rights protected by the United States Constitution.
It was not until after World War 1 that Memorial Day was expanded to honor those who died in all American Wars and was officially declared a national holiday by an act of Congress in 1971.
Each Memorial Day, millions of Americans honor our fallen heroes in different ways. Some decorate gravesites, others gather in solemn remembrance and others take this day to clean the headstones. If you choose to clean, please take a moment to read some important information to preserve the headstone as best as possible (please check with the cemetery’s maintenance team first before attempting to clean gravestones as they might have a schedule or restrictions in order to preserve the headstone’s integrity).
- First, please assess the gravestone. Every cleaning has the potential to damage the stone so please be careful and considerate. Do your homework on the material (granite, sandstone, marble, etc.) as each will have different methods and recommendations for cleaning.
- Make sure you have the right materials such as non-ionic cleanser, mild soap, new sponges and clean water (you may have to bring a few gallons of water unless there is an accessible hose at the cemetery).
- When you arrive at the gravestone, please check for damages. If you see signs of damage (cracks or flaking), please clean cautiously. Damage indicates that the stone is weakened, and improper cleaning can further threaten its integrity. Avoid putting pressure on the weakened areas.
- Gently wipe down the surface starting from the bottom of the stone and work your way up. Once it is wiped, you can use a brush to gently scrub away dirt and grime from the surface. Remove growth that such as Lichen (similar to fungi) and continue scrubbing. Lastly, make sure to completely rinse and dry when finished.
Finally, honor the soldier by decorating the area with fresh flowers, American flags or other patriotic keepsakes. If you so desire, consider ending with a short prayer (religious denomination of your choice) or positive thought.
On behalf of Anago’s military veteran Founders, Master Franchisees and Unit Franchisees who have honorably served this nation, we remember the men and women who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice. We honor their families. The freedoms we admire and enjoy would not be possible without their bravery and selflessness toward God, Country, and every single man, woman and child living in this great nation.
From the Anago family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day.