In the United States, the last Monday in May is Memorial Day, a national holiday set aside to remember and recognize fallen military personnel.
Originally Decoration Day, the holiday came into being to celebrate Union soldiers that sacrificed their lives to preserve the country. First celebrations were actually held by freed slaves in the South to celebrate their emancipation. The name was not officially changed to Memorial Day until 1967.
The day was so synonymous with the Civil War that veterans of the First World War received their own day of recognition, Armistice Day (now Veterans Day). It has since grown to not only recognize the dead but to thank the living who still serve. Many cities and towns hold parades, dedicate streets in a person’s honor (Boston has 1,230 “hero squares”), hang wreathes, and plant flags at cemeteries.
If you don’t see these kinds of things in your area, perhaps you should consider beginning the effort yourself. Remember those who fell so you might stand.
Civil War: 625,000 dead, 281,881 wounded (Union only)
World War 1: 116,516 dead, 2004,002 wounded
World War 2: 405,399 dead, 670,846 wounded
Korean Conflict: 53,686 dead, 92,134 wounded
Vietnam Conflict: 58,209 dead, 153,303
First Iraq Conflict: 382 dead, 849 wounded
Current Conflicts: 5,491 dead, 37,865 wounded