Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday, occurring every year on the final Monday of May. On Memorial Day, we remember and honor the men and women who died serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Many big retailers are running their first big sales of the season, but what better way to honor the true spirit of Memorial Day than to give our retired and active duty men and women a little break at the register?


Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, the day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all forms of combat.


  • One of the longest standing Memorial Day traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500 – an auto race that has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911.
  • In the United States, Memorial Day is officially observed at 3:00 PM EST.
  • Traditionally, to show respect for the fallen soldiers, American flags should be lowered to half-staff from dawn until noon on Memorial Day.

Celebrating Suggestions

  • Host special events on this three-day weekend, especially if your business is located in a destination area like the beach.
  • Decorate your store with American flags and other patriotic items, if appropriate.
  • As Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, offer your customers new summer menu items if you run a restaurant, or, re-merchandise your retail store to showcase summer clothing, products or services.
  • Check with your city about volunteering with your staff to adorn gravesites of veterans with American flags.
  • Own a bar or restaurant? How about offering active duty and retired military a free appetizer when they order a beer?
  • Buy your veterans or active duty military members lunch! Offer free sandwiches or subs to those that have served our country.

Check out our Marketing Holiday Calendar for more dates to celebrate!