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American Legion leader calls on public to light up the night on Memorial Day

Commander: ’Light a candle of remembrance for the fallen’

Burning candles with golden bokeh on dark wooden table for a festive occasion

(INDIANAPOLIS, May 18, 2020) — American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford is urging the public to honor the country’s fallen military heroes at dusk on Memorial Day by lighting candles of remembrance and placing them on front porches.

“As we continue to follow stay-at-home guidance during the coronavirus pandemic, we must not fail to remember the men and women who fought for our freedoms,” Oxford said. “Memorial Day observances around the country and beyond are certain to be much different this year, but we can show our respects by lighting and displaying candles to remind everyone why we must never forget the meaning of this sacred holiday.”

The commander also suggests that families make signs expressing their gratitude for military sacrifice, photograph friends and family holding up the signs and sharing the images on social media. “We can remind everyone by showing our candles and sharing our messages that no matter the circumstances, we will never forget those who are no longer among us.”

Oxford added that American Legion posts can alert their local media of this nationwide call for remembrance, with candles to be lit at dusk on May 25. He added that different-colored candles can symbolize different remembrances.

“You can light a red candle to remember those who shed their blood in combat and made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. A white candle can remind us all of the POWs and MIAs who are not yet home from wartime service. A blue candle can symbolize our eternal love of those who did come home but have since left us. Any way you choose, light a candle of remembrance, or three, for the fallen to let the world know that Memorial Day matters deeply to The American Legion, even if ceremonies and public observances are significantly changed this year.”

Stories and images from such Memorial Day observances can be posted on legion.org/legiontown as well as social media channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, tagging The American Legion National Headquarters. Participants are asked to use the hashtag #candlesofhonor so images and messages can be aggregated in social media.

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