Creating a Memorable Memorial Day
Although Memorial Day began shortly after the U.S. Civil War as a way to honor the soldiers lost in the battles between the states, it’s now evolved into a national holiday that signals the start of the summer season and offers everyone a day to remember loved ones who have passed away due to any cause. This year you can take time to create a meaningful and memorable Memorial Day by combining old traditions with new ones to celebrate with your family.
Teach Your Children and Grandchildren the Meaning of Memorial Day
When asked, many children have no idea of the true meaning of Memorial Day. To kids, it often means no more than a long weekend filled with cookouts or a day at the swimming pool. Without making it a long, drawn-out process, educate your little ones on the true meaning of Memorial Day as a way to honor those whom we’ve loved and lost.
Visit the Graveyard
While Memorial Day can be quite hectic, particularly if you’re entertaining or visiting friends and family far from home, taking time out to visit the cemetery where loved ones are buried will add a meaningful element to the day. Grab a bouquet of flowers or a couple of flags for fallen military members, load everyone into the car and head out to the place where your relatives are buried. Take time to remember them in a positive way and leave knowing you’ve spent time with that special someone.
Trot Out the Red, White and Blue
As a patriotic holiday, Memorial Day begs to be celebrated with our country’s colors of red, white and blue. Fly the flag, dress in red, white and blue, create a dessert with blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream or string streamers and balloons together to create a festive look in your home. No matter how you go about it, incorporating our nation’s colors will fill you with a sense of patriotic pride.
Have a Movie Marathon
If the weather doesn’t cooperate with your Memorial Day plans, you can always move the party indoors. A Memorial Day movie marathon is the perfect way to get everyone into the spirit of the day. Adults may enjoy flicks like “Saving Private Ryan,” “Blackhawk Down,” “Band of Brothers”, “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, “Midway” and “Platoon.” For younger children, set up a DVD player in the playroom or a bedroom and provide an assortment of kid-themed movies for them to enjoy while the adults are occupied.
Attend Community Events
Almost every community, no matter how large or small, offers local events geared toward the Memorial Day holiday. Whether it’s a community picnic, a parade, a sunrise ceremony to remember the fallen or a neighborhood pool party, there are bound to be Memorial Day events that are appropriate for the entire family. Check your local newspaper, your church bulletin or the Internet to find events that suit your fancy and give you something to look forward to on the first holiday of the season.
No matter how you choose to spend your Memorial Day, tailor the events you choose to ones that have meaning and value for your family. Take lots of photos and record the day so you can look back at it in the future and relive those special memories you made.