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Consider a charitable gift as part of your Memorial Day observation

US military member folding flag_National Park Service
Photo courtesy National Park Service

Memorial Day commemorations of the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice tend to be outdoors. That's because they usually involve military participation and flourishes.

People also head this long federal holiday weekend to national parks, many of which honor military service members today and year-round.

Events will be held today at the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. There are more than a dozen units of the National Park system and more than 100 unique monuments and memorials in the national capital.

National parks honoring national sacrifices: The tributes in America's Front Yard that honor the bravery, sacrifices, and beliefs of those who have served their nation include memorials dedicated to World War I and II combatants, Korean War Veterans, African American Civil War soldiers, and Vietnam Veterans.

Elsewhere in the United States, other parks, battlegrounds, forts, and historic sites honor the service, valor, courage, and sacrifice of armed forces personnel.

Such reflection can be found at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama, dedicated to the first African American pilots in World War II. In Hawai'i, those who lost their lives in the World War II surprise attack are remembered at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. And on the island of Puerto Rico, the San Juan National Historic Site recognizes the generations of soldiers have lived and worked within the fort on this strategic U.S. territory.

Giving to keep the memorials going: If you are/were able to attend a Memorial Day event at a national park, memorial, or historic site, I hope you found the peace, solace, and thankfulness you sought. You also might want to consider helping maintain these sites for future generations.

Yes, the federal government does provide budgetary resources. However, you can directly contribute via the National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the Foundation was championed by First Lady Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson as a way for citizens, who historically have been instrumental in park designation and preservation, to directly support these valuable areas across of the United States.

And on this Memorial Day, you also might want to contribute to nonprofits created to help families of service men and women who gave their all, as well as those designed to help veterans.

Donating to military-focused organizations: You can find some in my earlier post on donating directly to military charities, as well as in this post on remembering military families, too, on Memorial Day. Charity Navigator also has compiled a list of what it deems highly-rated nonprofits dedicated to supporting veterans and active-duty service members and their families.

If you can help, thank you. And be sure to get your thanks at tax-filing time, too. I know most people don't donate simply so they can write the gifts off on their taxes. But making sure you do get a tax benefit, too, does not diminish your goodwill.

To get a tax deduction for any 2022 contributions to Internal Revenue Service-approved charitable groups, military-focused or otherwise, you'll have to itemize and claim your gifts on Schedule A.

But there is a chance that Congress will reinstate for this tax year (and beyond) the option that was available on 2020 and 2021 taxes to claim a deduction — up to $300 for single filers, and as much as $600 for jointly filing married couples — directly on Form 1040.

You also might find these items of interest:








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