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Connecting with ancestors, honoring military members on Memorial Day

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Flags and flowers adorn the graves at the Salt Lake City cemetery on Sunday, May 26, 2019.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News


On the last Monday in May, Americans observe Memorial Day — a federal holiday for honoring those who have died in defense of their country. Many others take the opportunity to also honor deceased family and friends.

This Monday, May 30, opportunities abound for making these connections with the past and paying tribute to loved ones and others who are deceased. The day also brings with it opportunities for reflection on how to strengthen ties with those who are still living, and supporting military members and their families right now.

Here are six articles you may have missed from the Church News on the topic of Memorial Day.

1. 4 ways to celebrate your family history on Memorial Day

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The Utah chapter of the Association of the United States Army conducts its annual Memorial Day service at Fort Douglas Military Cemetery on Monday, May 28, 2018.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

As families gather to remember those who have died or visit in other ways on Memorial Day, or on a variety of similar remembrance holidays celebrated in countries around the world, there are opportunities to record family stories or delve into family history.  This includes finding graves, photographing headstones and transcribing records.

See the tools, websites and resources to celebrate family history

2. Readers share how they honor military members, ancestors on Memorial Day

A local cemetery in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A local cemetery in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News, Deseret News

The Church News asked our readers, “How do you memorialize or honor either those who have died in military service or deceased family members?” 

Answers came in from people in Arizona, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.

Learn from stories shared from around the country

3. Serving those who serve: How the Church is supporting military members and their families

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Military chaplains endorsed by the Church are serving in many capacities in the United States Armed Forces.

Provided by Church's Military Relations and Chaplains Services Division

At this moment, Latter-day Saints serving in the military are stationed or deployed in almost all corners of the world. Legions of devout members wear the uniforms of their countries.

Many are far from their families and loved ones.  But no matter where they serve, they are never alone.

Find out about the Church’s Military Relations and Chaplains Services Division

4. How a diverse trio of Latter-day Saint chaplains from World War I remain relevant a century later

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The Church's three army chaplains who served in World War I — Calvin S. Smith, Elder B.H. Roberts and Herbert Maw — were the subject of a 1919 article in the historic Church magazine "The Juvenile Instructor."

Provided by Ken Alford

Herbert B. Maw, B.H. Roberts and Calvin S. Smith served as U.S. Army chaplains over a century ago — but their examples remain timelessly relevant.

Together, this diverse trio formed the corps of Latter-day Saint chaplains serving during World War I. Their duties included ministering to their fellow soldiers, offering spiritual courage and moral guidance. Each had unique experiences in uniform.

Read about how their experiences can help others today

5. WWII Memorial Day Observance commemorates Utah veteran’s life of service

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World War II U.S. Navy veteran Clayton James “Jim” Kearl, pictured in May 2017 in his home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sarah Harris, Church News

World War II U.S. Navy veteran Clayton James “Jim” Kearl was the first Utahn to present a wreath at the Memorial Day Observance at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 29, 2017.

Kearl fought in all but one battle of the Pacific during World War II, serving aboard the USS Salt Lake City. He said receiving this honor has brought back many memories.

See his example of service and faith

6. 6 stories that highlight how Latter-day Saints are serving God and country

Elder Lance B. Wickman and West Point cadet during May 4, 2019, gathering at the United States Milit

Elder Lance B. Wickman and West Point Cadet Kendall Munsey during May 4, 2019, gathering at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

From a solder who helped nab Saddam Hussein to a bombing survivor who went to the Naval Academy, these six stories by Church News writer Jason Swensen highlight what some Church members involved in military service are doing to serve their God and country amidst trial.

Be inspired by their faith and perseverance

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