Americans have gradually forgotten the history behind Memorial Day as the years have passed. This Memorial Day weekend try to incorporate some of the patriotism and American history that we have forgotten over the years. Memorial Day is about paying tribute to the soldiers that have given their lives fighting for our country. Here are a few ways you can incorporate the history behind Memorial Day into your celebrations during the long weekend.
National Moment of Remembrance
3:00 PM on Memorial Day is deemed the “National Moment of Remembrance.” If you have friends and family over for a cookout, you can easily incorporate this into your festivities. A few minutes before 3:00, get your guests attention and explain to them that in honor of soldiers who have given their lives fighting in wars throughout the years, you would like to hold a moment of silence. If you are really organized, you can even plays “Taps” on a stereo during this time.
Check out a Ceremony
On Memorial Day every town offers some sort of recognition of Memorial Day. In our local town they have a parade, and a few local soldiers give speeches. If you are unsure about what ceremonies your hometown offers, contact your local American Legion or Veterans Association, they will be able to inform you of any ceremonies or parades near you.
Visit A Cemetery
Even if there are no veterans in your family tree, that’s no reason to not pay your respects to the fallen soldiers from your local hometown. Visit a local cemetery, and bring along some flowers and small shovels. During the holiday weekend it will be especially easy to distinguish veteran’s headstones from civilians, most cemeteries’ groundskeepers put up tiny American flags at veterans’ graves to honor them. A lot of these veterans’ families are no longer around to maintain their headstones (especially if you find some veterans dating back to the Civil War). Take a few hours out of your day to honor the veterans by cleaning up their headstones and planting a few flowers at their gravesites.
Don’t just throw an ordinary cookout. Invite any veterans you know, whether they are friends, family members, neighbors, or the cashier at the super market to attend your cookout as honorary guests. Have them each give a small speech about their time in the military, and experiences. Not only will they feel special and appreciated, it will remind your guests why you were all lucky enough to have the day off from work or school.
Rainy Memorial Day
Every few years, Mother Nature ruins our Memorial Day plans. If the weather is horrible, have a movie marathon with your family and close friends. In honor of Memorial Day you can watch war movies all day long, this will remind you of what our veterans had to endure in wars that have occurred throughout history.