This weekend the United States will be celebrating Memorial Day. It’s a day that many Americans view as the official beginning of summer, marked by picnics, BBQs, and relaxing with friends and family. But Memorial Day is a very important holiday established to give us a time to honor and remember the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States of America. So in addition to our picnics and BBQs, here are five great ideas for things we can do around our homes and towns to celebrate Memorial Day this weekend:
- Attend A Parade. Many towns have parades on Memorial Day and some events even conclude with a memorial service. So take some time out from prepping for BBQs or relaxing with friends and family and take advantage of what your town has to offer on this important day.
- Decorate with Flags. Break out the red, white and blue! For many, many years it has been a tradition to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flags on Memorial Day. So why not bring that tradition home and decorate your house and lawn with the stars and stripes! Another tradition is to fly the flag at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. So if you have a flag pole, consider joining the tradition this year.
- Buy A Poppy. During the days leading up to Memorial Day, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars take donations for poppies. The poppy’s significance to Memorial Day is the result of the John McCrae poem “In Flanders Fields.” Disabled and needy veterans in VA hospitals have been assembling Buddy Poppies since 1924. Purchase one, and your donation assists in maintaining state and national rehabilitation and service programs for veterans.
- Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. In an effort to restore Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be, the National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day to pause in an act of national unity (duration: one minute).The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.
- Thank A Veteran. While Memorial Day is a time for remembering and honoring our fallen soldiers, it’s also a wonderful time to thank those soldiers past and present who are right here in our midst today! Thank them for all they have done to protect our country and our freedoms. Don’t know a veteran or want to do more? You can write a letter to a veteran or soldier! Check out: OperationGratitude.com for more information about writing letters or sending care packages to soldiers currently deployed.
This post originally appeared on the US Inspection site.