There are certain holidays within our culture that we generally take time to recognize, reverence, and reflect upon the significance of the day or event we are celebrating. Unfortunately, there are also other holidays that the majority of people within our culture view as just a day off work and a perfect opportunity to have a BBQ. Let’s be honest, nobody is opposed to having a day off work, and I’ll be the first to admit that having a BBQ with family and friends is enjoyable; however, let us also ensure that on these two holiday’s, we never forget, under-appreciate, or take for granted those men and women who sacrificed and even gave their lives for our freedoms and opportunities.
The 10 ideas below are for families and people everywhere to ensure that Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are not only fun and enjoyable, but also meaningful:
1) Significance of Holiday: Most importantly, take at least 30 minutes and think about, learn more about, talk about, and express gratitude for the significance of this holiday.
2) Flags: Display flags, and ideally at half-staff. Have a flag ceremony, and learn about the significance and history of the flag. Learn also how to fold the flag.
3) Attend Holiday Events: Attend the Memorial Day & Veteran’s Day Parades, Community Events, Readings, or the Performances and Celebrations for that day.
4) Honor at Cemeteries: Visit a local cemetery and honor family members or military men/women who have passed away.
5) Thank Service Men & Women: Write ‘Thank You’s’ – in preparation, locate either older veteran’s in the community, or currently serving military men and women from your community – and write them ‘Thank You’s’ for what they did (or are doing).
6) Visit D.C.: Experience Memorial Day (and Veteran’s Day) at the National Memorials in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C.
7) Holiday History & Stories: In preparation for the holiday, gather significant family stories, well-known historical stories/events, quotes, poems, songs, stories – and just spend a few minutes remembering and honoring those who gave their lives for your freedoms.
Historical Spots: Go and visit a local historical spot, a military base, a military graveyard, a battlefield, or museum.
9) Honor Those Still Living: Spend part of the day with a grandparent, older aunt/uncle, or even a close elderly friend or neighbor. Share a meal, play games, and spend time with them to honor and thank them. Also, ask questions and write their history to give to their decedents.
10) Have Some Fun: And, in addition to giving the proper respect and honor to this date and these hero’s, spend time as a family. Have a BBQ, play games together, and just spend time with friends and family.