Every year, Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May. This day is observed in order to honor, remember and celebrate the soldiers who have lost their lives in the line of duty to serve the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day is also marked as the start of summer. Many people use this as an event to both celebrate Memorial Day and also to welcome summer.
This is one of the long-awaited holidays we have. For me this is the first holiday of the year as I haven’t taken any paid leave so far. Planning to celebrate the day by doing some fun activities with friends. What will you be doing?
There are many things a person can do to celebrate Memorial Day and here are some ideas on the things you can do without having to spend a lot of money.
Education & Learning
It’s important for everyone to understand the importance and significance of Memorial Day and not just see it as another holiday.
- Tell inspiring stories of soldiers who fought for the country. Parents can talk about the role of soldiers from all over the world and bring it home by making children understand why it’s important for a country to have freedom.
- Visit museums, historical sites and memorial parks. Read and reflect on the contributions of the fallen soldiers and what it took to gain freedom for everyone.
- Read up on history by searching for information wars, world events and happenings from around the world to appreciate more what others are doing for the country just so everyone can live comfortably.
- Attend talks to learn more on history on military and the country
- Organize group projects in school or workplace. Make a presentation on why it’s important to have freedom and what would happen if a country has no freedom.
- Watch movies about soldiers giving their lives to protect a country. Teachers can get students to write a paper on what they learn from the movies.
- Attend art exhibitions by local artists who are celebrating the fallen soldiers. See and learn how others are expressing their honor on Memorial Day.
- Write articles or blog posts about Memorial Day and its significance to you, your family and your community. Share these posts with others via social networks to spread the awareness on the importance of Memorial Day.
- Observe a moment of silence in your local time. This is a great chance for everyone to stop and take a minute to appreciate the efforts of the fallen soldiers.
- Show documentaries on Memorial Day and other historical events in schools.
- Students can perform in honor of the fallen soldiers by having a play or concert.
- Invite war veterans or serving soldiers to give talks to students at school.
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Honoring & Celebrating
- Send flowers to the families of fallen soldiers and/or any soldier you know.
- Show your respect to the families of the soldiers who lost their lives by donating them money or any form of token of appreciation.
- Place a flag outside your home and raise it at half-mast for one day.
- Send cards or care packages to the soldiers who are currently serving overseas.
- Visit the families of fallen soldiers in your immediate circle of friends and families.
- Keep the mood light and positive instead of somber and depressing at schools or workplaces. This way, the men and women who gave their lives can be remembered fondly and dearly without any, or at least, less political influences involved.
- Extend a helping hand to the families who have lost a member who was a soldier or currently have a member who is serving. These families may struggle in their absence so help in any way you can.
- Join groups or NGO that advocate soldiers’ benefits.
- Visit the graves of soldiers who have lost their lives and decorate these with flowers, flags, wreaths and gifts to show your respect and appreciation.
- Visit war veterans and honor them with token or appreciations or writing an article about them.
Activities for Family & Friends
- Memorial Day is perfect for a picnic with family and friends.
- Organize BBQ night.
- Movie night with family members.
- Taking your family out for camping is also a great idea to do
- Have treasure hunt games. You can use history trivia as clues. This is a great way to have fun while learning at the same time.
- Bake American theme deserts with family and friends. These desserts can be given as gifts to families of fallen soldiers as well.
- Have theme dinner. You can serve food that are made into the shape of the American flag or use red, white and blue as your central theme.
- Throw a costume party where the guests can dress up as soldiers or any historical figure.
- Plan for family reunions on Memorial Day. You can use this day as an annual family event for everyone to meet and catch up.
- Make arts & crafts that have Memorial Day theme with your children. These artworks can be displayed at schools or sent to serving soldiers and/or their families.
- Play games on historical figures/events with your family. This is a great chance for children to learn about history and its importance.
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- Attend Memorial Day fairs, as this is a great chance to bring people together to learn and appreciate soldiers.
- Organize a bake sale in your neighborhood. Sell desserts like cookies, cakes or pies that have designs and themes of the American flag or history-themed.
- Have a can drive and donate this to your local welfare organizations.
- Volunteer at the soup kitchen and give your bit back to the community.
- Organize a charity sale, flea market or barter market. The proceeds of these events can be donated to any welfare organizations or NGOs that support soldiers’ benefits.
- Run for charity marathons.
- Bring your family to concerts and have a good time spending quality time with your family to appreciate the freedom you have.
- Attend Memorial Day parades.
- Support your local theater companies by attending any plays they organize on Memorial Day.
- Organize mural paintings for your neighborhood and schools.
- Have Memorial Day drawing competition for the kids in your neighborhood.
- Organize a Family Day in your neighborhood and honor families who have serving soldiers or lost their lives in the line of duty.
- Have a flash mob in public areas to show your appreciation for the soldiers.
- Get people who you know to write their message for the serving soldiers and on Memorial Day on a board and make a video of them holding up the boards. Share this video on your social network.
- Donate cell phones, calling cards, phone cards or other technology to serving soldiers so they can keep in touch with their families.
- You can sponsor a baby shower to the pregnant wives of serving or fallen soldiers. You can also donate your wedding dress to couples whose partner is a soldier to ease their burden of wedding planning.
No matter what you choose to do on Memorial Day, it’s important to remember the reason you’re celebrating. This is a national holiday to commemorate those who died in military service to our country. Spare a few moments for them!