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Memorial Day: What you can do

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Volunteering time at a nearby veterans cemetery can be a way to honor the fallen at Memorial Day

  • There are also volunteer opportunities all year long

  • Maintaining the grounds, helping repair or even greeting visitors are some ways to help

(CNN) -- Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember the U.S. troops who have died. One way to honor the fallen troops is to volunteer at a veterans cemetery. And while there are opportunities on Memorial Day, there are other ways you can help all year long.

There are more than 150 national cemeteries and monument sites maintained by such groups as the the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Park Service. Read more about them or find a volunteer opportunity at a cemetery near you.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has these tips on ways you can help at a veterans cemetery that you might not have considered:

-- Volunteer to greet visitors, give tours or research and document cemetery history

-- Donate items such as golf carts, which are used to transport visitors who need assistance reaching a gravesite

-- Volunteer to raise and lower cemetery flags on national holidays

-- Help maintain the final resting place of fallen troops by volunteering to prune trees, mend cemetery flags, repair cemetery benches or sponsor a burial area or flower bed and maintain it all year long

-- If you're a bugler, volunteer to play a live "Taps" at veterans' funerals. About 1,800 veterans die each day, most of them from World War II, according to the VA. Because the military cannot provide enough buglers to play at such a large number of funerals, Congress passed a law in 2000 to allow a recorded version to be played. But many families of the fallen prefer a live version if possible.

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