Memorial Day is a holiday honoring the brave men and women who lost their lives while serving in the United States military. These noble soldiers sacrificed everything they had in order to give the American people freedom, and every year we recognize their courageous dedication to serving the country.
The Memorial Day – Event & Shopping Guide
It’s a time to reflect, pay respects, and show a great appreciation for the fallen heroes of our nation. It’s also a great time to celebrate America as a country, our independence, and our respectable military. But Memorial Day is much more than just a lesson in American history, there are all kinds of unique ways to celebrate this important occasion.
What is Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a meaningful way for Americans to pay tribute to the valiant people who died in the line of duty while serving in the United States Armed Forces. This includes those who were enlisted in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force or Coast Guard. Americans typically celebrate Memorial Day by attending a Memorial Day parade or visiting memorial sites. Although it is a federal holiday of remembrance, Memorial Day isn’t all somber. In fact, Americans have made a tradition of using the entire Memorial Day weekend to take a trip or throw an outdoor barbeque as a way to commemorate those who were lost while also signifying the unofficial start of summer.
Memorial Day was first known as “Decoration Day” in the years following the Civil War, which ended in 1865. The war claimed a considerable amount of lives and people had begun paying tribute to those who died during battle by decorating their graves with flowers. The exact origin of Memorial Day is difficult to pinpoint, but Waterloo, New York was declared the official birthplace of the tradition in 1966. By 1971, Memorial Day had become an official American federal holiday.
When is the Memorial Day
Memorial Day is annually observed on the last Monday of May. This year, Memorial Day takes place on May 25.
How You Can Participate in Memorial Day
America is rich in history and Memorial Day marks the perfect opportunity to celebrate the United States and those who chose to fight for our country. There are so many ways to uphold the true meaning of Memorial Day by participating in various activities and customs. Here are a few ways that you can get involved in the Memorial Day spirit this year:
1. Teach Your Child the History of Memorial Day
You may already know the importance of Memorial Day, and now would be a great time to educate your child on what this holiday is all about. Teaching children about valuable American history at a young age is a great way for them to gain a better understanding of the world around them. Of course, there’s a whole lot of information to unpack when it comes to explaining Memorial Day, and it can be a bit of an overwhelming task at first thought. Luckily, there are tools and materials that can help break down the history of Memorial Day in a lighthearted way that children can relate to.
Try implementing the book Memorial Day Surprise by Theresa Martin Golding to spark your kiddo’s interest in the holiday. It’s a fun read about a boy named Marco and his mom who attend a Memorial Day parade. Seeing the marching band, fire engines, and people dressed in costume may be exciting, but the boy gets an even better thrill when he notices his grandfather, a decorated war veteran, leading the parade. It’s a cheery, colorful and upbeat way for kids to grasp what Memorial Day means to America.
2. Attend a Memorial Day Parade
It’s practically a rite of passage to attend an annual Memorial Day parade, isn’t it? Heading to your local parade is a great way to come together with members of your community to celebrate all things Americana while honoring the fallen soldiers. Memorial Day parades are the true embodiment of having pride in your country, and they really are a way for people to come together for a good cause. Children and adults alike will enjoy the festive displays of music, costumes, and historic reenactments while basking in the beautiful outdoor weather. If you’re looking for an eventful way to celebrtate Memorial Day, attending a parade should be at the top of your list!
3. Decorate With Flags
The American flag represents so many things – freedom, pride, honor, responsibility, independence, unity, equality, and the list goes on and on. A wonderful way to observe Memorial Day this year is by decorating with flags to showcase passion for your country. There are an infinite number of American-themed items to get yourself in the Memorial Day mood.
From giant flags to star-spangled banners and red, white and blue décor. There’s really no expense to spare when it comes to showing off your American pride, so buying all kinds of festive decorations, baubles and knick-knacks are always a crowd pleaser. Need some ideas in the Americana department? Check out these Patriotic Gifts to start preparing for the occasion!
4. Wear a Memorial Day Button
Another admirable way to celebrate Memorial Day is to wear a Memorial Day button. Donning a button from May 1st until Memorial Day is a way to raise awareness and respect for the soldiers who gave their lives for the liberty and freedoms of all Americans.
Wearing a visible symbol such as a patriotic button is time honored tradition to pay tribute to the many men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Memorial Day buttons hold great significance and they can also be a dignified way to honor our military.
5. Patriotic Cookout for Memorial Day
Throwing a patriotic event such as a cookout is an ideal way for people to celebrate the holiday as well as the start of summer. Cookouts, barbeques, and outdoor parties with grilling, swimming pools, cocktails and good company are always a good way to connect with others during Memorial Day weekend.
There are so many ways to have a big shindig in honor of Memorial Day and cooking up some festive treats is just the start of an epic outdoor party. If you’re looking for the perfect dessert to being to a Memorial Day potluck, consider these Patriotic Mini Parfaits. Layered with cherry-almond cookie dough and whipped cream cheese, these red, white, and blue concoctions are sprinkled with star-shaped confections and are the perfect dose of patriotism for any Memorial Day event.
6. Buy a Poppy
A poppy is more than just a brightly colored flower, it’s also a symbol commonly associated with Memorial Day. The significance of the poppy dates back to World War I, when it was always the first flower to reemerge from the fields after a brutal war had taken place. People began wearing “poppy red” as a way to honor the dead as it’s red hue is reminiscent of blood. These days, poppies are used to honor all veterans, both deceased and living. At this time of year, you may see Veterans of Foreign Wars, or the VFW, offering poppy pins in exchange for a donation. Buying a poppy is a thoughtful way to show your compassion for Memorial Day while supporting a great cause, as the proceeds go directly to programs that service veterans.
7. Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance
Traditionally, a National Moment of Remembrance is when we as a nation all pause for one minute for a silent observation of the ones who were lost in battle. This national gesture usually occurs at 3PM and is seen as a sacred way to remember the importance of this holiday and why we celebrate it. While taking a moment of silence is a nice gesture, most young people have found new ways to participate in this event by enlisting the use of social media. Many millennials and those alike pay tribute to America’s fallen heroes by posting in their honor on Instagram or Twitter. In addition to sharing a few words to pay their respects, some extra creative people even show pictures of their Patriotic attire, American-themed events, and appetizing snapshots of what they’ve cooked for the special day.
Memorial Day on Social Media
Memorial Day content makes up for millions of posts on social media every year. People all over the country showcase photos from Memorial Day parades, patriotic arts and crafts, festive food and inventive outfits that fit the red, white, and blue theme. There are so many fantastic ways to celebrate Memorial Day on social media, especially by linking up with these hashtags: #MemorialDay, #MemorialDayWeekend, #ThankYouForYourService, #AmericaStrong, #HopeAndStrength, #LetFreedomRing
Memorial Day embodies the true essence of America while honoring those who lost their lives to fight for freedom. It is a holiday with serious significance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find creative and exciting ways to celebrate. Whether you attend a brush up on the history behind the occasion, attend a Memorial Day event, dress up, cook something tasty or decorate with flags, there are countless Memorial Day traditions that you can partake in. May 25th will be here in no time, don’t waste any time prepping for the big event and be sure to have a happy Memorial Day!
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