And just like that, Memorial Day Weekend is upon us! It seems like, just yesterday, I was complaining about all the snow, and now we are getting ready to embrace summer. Granted, Memorial Day Weekend is not the official start of summer, but it sure feels like it! As a kid, I loved the sense of freedom summer represented: sleeping in, hanging with friends, swimming, catching fireflies … oh the possibilities.
I think the key word in my memory is “freedom.” As an adult, I know the freedom I felt then, and now, was hard fought and should not be taken for granted. Memorial Day Weekend is more than an unofficial summer start date, but an opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of our freedom, and honor those who have worked and fought to achieve our freedom.
This weekend, as you are heading for the beach, planning a big picnic, or reporting for work, remember that Memorial Day is a time to pause and recognize the sacrifices of the men and women who have died in service for our country. With this in mind, we have collected some interesting facts, activities and recipes to help you celebrate the Memorial Day Weekend.
- Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day. It was started in 1868, after the American Civil War, to observe and honor the fallen by decorating their graves.
- The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. (Set a reminder on your phone!)
Learn and Honor Through Activities:
- Learn why you fly the American flag at half-staff until noon, and then at full mast until sunset on Memorial Day. Check out this site for Flag Etiquette.
- Visit a military cemetery and bring flowers to lay on a grave.
- Send a letter to current and past military through A Million Thanks website. Find your closest drop-off/send-to location.
- Make your own Memorial Day keepsake flag. Learn how.
- Watch your town’s parade, and cheer on the many service members marching.
- Go on a long hike and appreciate the beauty of nature.
- Enjoy a pool party day—pack a picnic and make it an adventure.
- Be a tourist, tour your own city.
- Attend a free or inexpensive concert.
- Throw a pot-luck picnic, and play relay races with all ages—remember laughing until it hurt in the three-legged race or the dizzy bat race? (Find more relay race ideas here.) If you are pulling out your grill for the first time this season, check out our blog for proper grilling safety tips and yummy recipes.
Enjoying parades, fireworks and baseball with family and friends honors those who have fought for our freedom. We at DinnerTime thank those who have served, and we honor the service and sacrifice of all military families.
Serve these yummy recipes at your Memorial Day Party!