What began during the post civil war, Decoration Day was a way to honor the deceased where soldiers would decorate graves with flowers, flags and wreaths. 

It wasn’t until 1967 that the holiday would legally become Memorial Day. Many celebrate by holding family gatherings, participating in parades, or visiting cemeteries to pay their respects. Today, some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. Take a glimpse at how some of our products are inspired by the utilitarian aesthetics seen throughout the course of history in the military and how WWI helped launch mapmaking at National Geographic.



Leather A-2 Flight Jacket

National Geographic played an important role during World War II by supplying maps to the Allies. As seen in the interior of our leather A-2 flight jacket above, maps were commonly sewn in to the lining of the A-2 flight jackets as a precaution in case the pilots were shot down over an enemies territory.

Our Leather A-2 Flight Jacket is a reproduction of the historical WWII flight jackets, worn by allied pilots in 1931  who flew dangerous missions over wartime terrain. The lining features a re-creation of the survival maps of southern France with vintage French lamb leather. Our Flight Jacket also features many of the customizations that pilots preferred for comfort, such as the wind flap and a front zipper with a storm.



Hear first hand from those who witnessed the day to day of battles and triumphs of WWII. The global combat is documented like never before, showcasing the start of Nazi Germany to the battles between the US and the Japanese empire. This compelling three-part mini-series reveals many of the recollections from veterans that you may have never heard before. 


Authentic Aviator Sunglasses 

Originally issued to U.S. Navy pilots and aircrew, NASA astronauts, and the legendary Blue Angels beginning in 1977, our stylish classic aviator sunglasses are handcrafted to military specificationThese sunglasses feature unique bayonet temples deigned to fit under a helmet, thus making it comfortable to wear with a hat. Scratch-resistant, UVA- and UVB-resistant gray lenses are noted for their true color reception. Hand-polished with 24-karat gold-plated frames, durability is a sure factor for these sunglasses! 



Arlington Field of Honor DVD

The Arlington National Cemetery is known as the final resting place for many of our nation’s greatest heroes. Discover how this site became a national shrine of American history with rare archival footage to true-life accounts in Arlington Field of Honor. 



Where Valor Rests

Many were laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery such as John F. Kennedy to the unknown soldiers.  Where Valor Rests by Rick Atkinson, celebrates the 150th anniversary of the cemetery with compelling photographs, essays and a map of the historic points of interest and memorials. The hallowed history of Arlington continues to be iconic, powerful and a venerated landmark.


There are many ways to remember those who fought for freedom, we must never forget their history. Take the time to honor the service, sacrifices and commitments that soldiers have made this Memorial Day.


Check out our Your Shot Memorial Day for more inspiration.