Burgers sizzling on the grill, a much-needed day off work and relaxation are all associated with Memorial Day. But this day has a greater meaning than grilling and rest that should not be forgotten. Observed May 28 this year, Memorial Day was created to honor those who died defending our country, displaying acts of heroism and valor. So while this day is a day to be with family and friends, also use this day as a time to show your appreciation for those who have lost their lives serving in the armed forces, or even those serving currently. Here are some ways you can honor those lost and make the most of this year’s Memorial Day.
Participate in Remembrance
Every year, a National Moment of Remembrance takes place at 3pm across the country. Wherever you are, take time to stop and participate in the remembrance. Everyone is affected by the military in some form or another, and those impacted heavily will be grateful to know that you and the community appreciate the work of those in the armed forces.
Raise Funds for Troops
Somewhere in or around your community, there is probably a family who has lost a loved one in the military or who still has a family member fighting overseas. Although Memorial Day was established as a holiday of remembrance for those lost, you can use it as a day to honor those still living who are dealing with the absence of a soldier. First, set up a place where community members can make donations. Try high traffic areas, like a local grocery store or a gas station. Then, get the word out to let people know that they can help. The gratitude that you’ll receive when you present the family with the donations makes the planning and time worthwhile.
Make a Memorial
One way to remember fallen soldiers is to help decorate the gravestones. Pick out flowers to replace ones that have dried out or wilted. You could either go to the store to buy a memorial, or you could even make your own. Pick wildflowers and arrange them into a bouquet. You could even write down words of thanks and leave them as a form of remembrance. And, since your memorial will look fresh and new it will help others who see it remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Another memorial option is to tie a yellow ribbon around trees in your community park. Yellow ribbons have been tied around trees to show support for the military. People use the ribbons for different meanings, and you can display them in your community for either the soldiers still fighting or in memory of soldiers that have died. Have the family members help participate in a special ceremony to honor those soldiers. They’ll be grateful for your appreciation.