|The whole family can observe the holiday and honor our fallen heroes.
As the unofficial start of summer, it's easy to think of Memorial Day in terms of BBQs, beach days and time off. But it's so important to remember what Memorial Day is really about: a time to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the Armed Forces. This May 31, take time out of your day by doing one (or many!) of these Memorial Day activities that focus on paying your respects to our fallen heroes and helping those who continue to fight for our freedoms.
Whether you're looking for virtual ideas or ones you can do outside with the whole family, you'll find something on this list that you can do on Memorial Day to observe the true meaning of the holiday.
1 | Fly a Flag
It's simple, but also a great way to show your love for your country. Remember: When flying an American flag, it's important to follow proper etiquette and guidelines, which you find here.
2 | Say a Prayer
Memorial Day is all about remembering the veterans who have sacrificed their lives for our safety and freedom. Take a minute to say a prayer for those who have served our country and for the continued safety of our service men and women.
3 | Take a White House Virtual Tour
See inside the iconic landmark and learn more about The People's House and America without ever leaving your home.
TAKE A TOUR OF THE WHITE HOUSE
4 | Visit a Cemetery
Pay tribute to those who have lost their lives fighting for our country by visiting a nearby veterans' cemetery, where you can place flags and flowers on the graves.
5 | Donate Flowers
If there isn’t a veteran cemetery near you, you can sponsor flowers through the foundation Memorial Day Flowers, and its volunteers will lay your blooms and hundreds of others at veterans’ grave sites in 40 cemeteries nationwide (starting at $5).
6 | Shop Veteran-Owned Businesses
There's a whole directory of businesses owned by veterans that you can support. Whether you want to eat out or shop, visiting a veteran-owned business on Memorial Day (and any day) is a great idea.
7 | Pay Tribute on Social Media
Post a thoughtful message or quote on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to highlight the importance of the day.
8 | Wear a Poppy
Pinning the symbolic red flower to your jacket is a simple yet powerful way to commemorate the sacrifices that have been made.
9 | Volunteer
Pick an organization that is veteran-focused and lend a hand by helping build homes, looking over resumes or visiting a local VA hospital.
FIND A VETERAN SUPPORT ORGANIZATION
10 | Donate
If you're unable to donate your time, you can make a monetary donation to a non-profit that supports and assists veterans. Even the smallest amount can make a difference.
11 | Phone a Veteran You Know
If you have a friend or family member who has served our country, give them a phone call to say thanks. They'll be happy to hear from you, and a phone call goes a little bit further than a text message or email.
12 | Watch a Documentary
Watching a documentary about veterans can give you a greater appreciation for the sacrifice that military personnel make and the dangers they face.
13 | Grocery Shop For a Local Veteran
If you know of an older veteran who lives nearby and is feeling cautious of going to the store during the pandemic, help your neighbor out by doing the shopping for them.
14 | Try a Craft
Help your kids get in touch with their creative side by setting up a patriotic craft session. Check out these red, white, and blue DIYs to get inspired.
15 | Take a Moment of Silence
The National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress in 2000, is a minute-long pause meant to raise awareness of and commemorate those who served (3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day).
16 | Turn On the TV
The night before Memorial Day, tune in to the National Memorial Day Concert, which includes musical performances, documentary footage and dramatic readings that honor military service. The concert airs May 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS.
17 | Give Thanks to Veterans
Organize an activity with your kids to write thank you cards to veterans across the country through nonprofits such as A Million Thanks. Or better yet, put together care packages for deployed personnel and veterans through Operation Gratitude.
18 | Make a Patriotic Dessert
Show off your American pride with some patriotic red, white, and blue desserts. If you'd like, you can host a bake sale and donate the funds to a veteran-focused charity.
19 | Learn Veterans' Stories
Listen to recordings from veterans and their families through StoryCorps oral history or pick up a military-related memoir or other nonfiction book (like The Fighters by C.J. Chivers).
20 | Watch a Parade
Most small towns and cities mark the day with an annual Memorial Day parade to honor those who have died while serving in the U.S. armed forces. Although some parades might be canceled this year to avoid large crowds gathering, see if there is a parade in your area that is being streamed online or that you can drive to and watch from the safety of your car.
source: Woman's Day