5 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day with Your Family
20 Tuesday May 2014
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Memorial Day is a time for families and friends to come together and share good times, great food and look forward to the upcoming summer months. Although it is wonderful to spend time with family and friends, it is good to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. Before or after the cook outs, take some time to celebrate Memorial Day with your family in meaningful ways.
What is the Memorial Day Holiday?
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. It is a day to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. With Memorial Day being a federal holiday, most businesses and schools are closed to honor the men and women who have died fighting for our country. Many people enjoy having the day off and want to pay their respects to honor the fallen.
Five Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day with your Family
Consider taking part in these family friendly and educational Memorial Day family activities.
- Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. At 3:00 local time on Memorial Day, encourage your family to pause wherever they are for a moment of silence to remember and honor America’s fallen heroes and their families. Consider pausing the picnic for a minute, and rallying family and friends in unison to share thoughts, recollections and memories of individuals they know who have served.
- An enjoyable and meaningful way to celebrate Memorial Day with your family is to attend a local community Memorial Day parade. Along with providing uplifting flag-waving fanfare, local veterans, patriotic organizations and bands march in these parades. Have your family shake hands with your local Veterans and thank them for their sacrifices.
- If possible, visit a historical landmark. An educational day trip to a local or historical monument would be great! This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the first burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. Being present to see the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington Cemetery can help with understanding of our nation’s history and those who played a part in it. Consider visiting one of the many spots claiming to be the first to celebrate Memorial Day. These include Waterloo, N.Y.; Richmond, Va.; and Macon, Ga.
- Can’t make the trip to visit an historical landmark? Visit a local cemetery and place a flower or a flag on the graves of those who sacrificed their all for us. Send a card to a local family in your community who has lost a loved one to let them know you are thinking of them. Below are pictures of a local town’s Millennium War Memorial. This memorial structure honors the residents of the town who were killed in foreign conflicts. Taking time to visit special places like these are simple, yet meaningful ways to celebrate Memorial Day with your family.
- Children usually do not fully understand the reasons why we celebrate, it is important for us to teach them that our military heroes deserve respect. Here are some ways to help the little ones honor our fallen heroes. Place a flag outside your house, sing a patriotic song, send a care package to a soldier, or have them help make an “American themed” dessert for your Memorial Day get together.
Here is a simple flag decorated sugar cookie recipe the kids can help make!
1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 cups quartered fresh strawberries
Press cookie dough into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Set aside 1/4 cup. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture over crust. Decorate with blueberries and strawberries to resemble a flag.
Cut a small hole in a corner of a pastry or plastic bag. Insert star tip #16. Fill with reserved cream cheese mixture. Beginning in one corner, pipe stars in the spaces between the blueberries.
Yield: 12-15 servings
I hope you find that these are meaningful ways to celebrate Memorial Day with your family. We are happy we are able to offer military themed ornaments so families can have keepsakes and gifts to give to friends and family members in the military. Happy Memorial Day to you all!