Patriotic Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a time to show honor, respect and remembrance for American patriots who lost their lives fighting for this great nation of ours. It’s an opportunity to show remembrance through celebration, and to recognize sacrifice through tradition.
Memorial Day had its first beginnings back in 1868, when General John A. Logan put wreaths on Civil War soldier graves and proclaimed there be a day of national observance of the sacrifice of military members. The day was originally referred to as Decoration Day. It wasn’t until 1971 that Memorial Day became a federal holiday, celebrated on the last Monday of May each year.
Here's a closer look at this commemorative day, how to celebrate it and what you can do to make sure you’re observing it with patriotic spirit.
5 Ways to Spend Your Memorial Day
As Memorial Day approaches, many individuals may wonder how best to embrace the spirit of the holiday and show our deepest appreciation for the men and women who died fighting for our country. Here are five patriotic ways to celebrate Memorial Day:
1. Attend a Memorial Day service
Many cities and towns hold Memorial Day services. You can attend this remembrance ceremony to show your respect for those who died fighting for our country. Some of the ceremonies feature wreath laying and guest speaker presentations about the holiday and local heroes. It’s a simple way to educate yourself and pay respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
2. Pay your respects at a veterans’ cemetery
Another way to celebrate Memorial Day is to pay your respects at a veterans’ cemetery. You might have a local cemetery that is the site of military hero graves. You can visit these locations, pay your respects, and even bring a wreath or flowers to lay down. Many veterans’ cemeteries will hold events specifically on Memorial Day. Be sure to check ahead of time, however—some cemeteries also close on Memorial Day, to allow private visitation for surviving family.
3. Volunteer at a veterans’ home
Your local veterans’ home may look for community member volunteers to help with various tasks around the holiday. You may be able to plant flowers outside for the residents to enjoy or donate useful items for the veterans, such as games and books. On Memorial Day, they’ll appreciate a helping hand in setting up the facilities and taking care of those who may need a little extra attention—remember, Memorial Day can be hard on those who know loss personally.
4. Visit a military memorial
There are many military memorials located across the U.S., so you’re likely to have one in your local area. Memorial Day is the perfect time to visit a military memorial, whether it’s your first time there or even if you’ve been there before. You can visit the military memorial site and learn more about this specific landmark and its historic significance as you celebrate Memorial Day.
5. Attend a Memorial Day parade
Parades are a popular Memorial Day pastime. Not only do these gatherings provide a way to bring the community together, they also offer a way to show respect and remembrance for our military heroes. Many veterans’ groups and military members attend and participate in Memorial Day parades, so it’s an ideal place to show respect for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Memorial Day Party Ideas
If you’re someone who likes to host your own gathering on Memorial Day, it’s an opportunity to invite family, friends and members of your community, to come together and pay their respects. This is a wonderful tradition in many families, and it’s important to make the most of the time together. Here are a few ideas that are great for Memorial Day celebrations.
Use red, white, and blue décor
Whatever type of Memorial Day party you host—be it a block party or a backyard pool party—make sure your décor features a red, white and blue theme. For example, your invitations for the party could have a red grill on a white background with blue water. An easy way to use these colors of your party is the table settings. You can use red tablecloths, blue plates, and white napkins to stick with the theme. You can also add balloons and streamers in this color scheme for added pizzazz that’s easy to put up and take down.
Make it a BBQ menu
Nothing brings people together like good food! Since this is the unofficial start of summer, a BBQ is the obvious and all-American choice! From burgers and hot dogs to chicken and kabobs, there are plenty of ways to grill out for this summery holiday. Even if you aren't able to grill out with burgers and hot dogs, you can still create a summery menu with staples such as baked beans, potato salad, macaroni salad, cold cut sandwiches, and some fun finger foods like celery and hummus. Don’t forget the Freedom Fries!
Create a patriotic dessert
What’s a good meal without dessert to follow? Cupcakes are a great summery dessert—guests can just grab one and get back to the festivities. Best of all, you can easily transform cupcakes into a patriotic party display by arranging them in the shape of the flag, with icing colored in red, white, and blue. If cupcakes aren't your style, colorful Jell-O or even colored Rice Krispies treats are a fun option you can create in red, white, and blue. You should also make sure to have plenty of summertime fruit such as watermelon and strawberries for those with a healthy sweet tooth.
Make it meaningful
While this is a time to celebrate and enjoy a three-day weekend, it's also important to make sure we never lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday. This is a good time of year to make a donation to a local or national organization that helps veterans, such as the National Military Family Association, Veterans Hospital, or Wounded Warrior Project. You can even ask guests to make a small donation in lieu of bringing anything to the party.
How to Show Patriotism on Memorial Day
Whatever you choose to do on Memorial Day, make sure you’re acting with courteousness and honor. It’s an opportunity to show your patriotism through respect for veterans, surviving family, active-duty service members and the flag.
No matter how you choose to spend this day of honor and reflection, you can show your individual patriotism by wearing appropriate Memorial Day attire. The Flag Shirt invites you to browse patriotic clothing to wear on Memorial Day and other national holidays where it’s important to show our patriotism in every way possible.
Visit The Flag Shirt and explore our large selection of patriotic clothing. From American flag polo shirts and button down shirts to patriotic neckties and other accessories, you’ll find any type of American-themed clothing and accessories you’re looking for! Come browse styles for men, women and kids, and show your patriotic spirit in the most stylish way possible.