Families all over the US spend time together on Memorial Day and during the three day weekend. The activities they enjoy run the gamut from barbeques to flying the flag. I try to keep a balance of fun and honor for my family with activities that maintain the history of this special day along with excitement.
Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start to summer, but more importantly it is the day that we honor those who lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is a solemn day, especially to those who have lost family members during service in the military, or those who have served in the military.
Traditional Family Memorial Day Activities
Families pay tribute to the military as a whole and to members who have died during service:
- Fly the American Flag – On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half-mast until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset. We also decorate our home, picnic table and car with the flag and wear clothing that features the red, white and blue.
- Visit a cemetery and place flags or flowers on veterans’ graves. Local cemeteries have services that you can take part in. Some include Taps, gun salutes and posting of the colors.
- Watch a Parade – Marching bands, veterans, local organizations, floats, decorated cars and lots of flags make up a Memorial Day parade. They are a tradition that small towns and large cities still continue.
- Enjoy the National Memorial Day Concert – We watch this on PBS each year. It brings home the true meaning of this special day.
Summer Fun Family Memorial Day Activities
Families celebrate the start of summer on Memorial Day.
- Barbeque or Picnic – Appreciate summer food during your family barbeque or picnic. Invite family and friends. We love to eat hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob, fruit salad, watermelon, lemonade and an American Flag cake.
- Go to the Beach -We may just sit for a few minutes on the sand and go for a swim, or watch the sun set, but it gets us in the mood for the times when there will be less people and more time to enjoy nature.
- Play Outside – Turn on the water sprinklers, get out the horseshoes, or shoot some hoops as a family. This brings us closer together as a family and helps us realize that it doesn’t have to cost money to have fun.
Because my husband is retired military and my father was a veteran, Memorial Day is a day to commemorate friends that my father lost in World War II and friends that my husband knew who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. We are grateful to all who served in the military in the past and now. My children were taught about the importance of this day and continue to pay tribute today.
What type of activities do you take part in on Memorial Day?
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