Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday finds its roots all the way back to after the Civil War when it was known as Decoration Day. It wasn’t until 1971 that Memorial Day was established to be on the last Monday of May. For many of us, Memorial Day is not only associated with the service and sacrifice of our military, but also, as the unofficial start of summer. It is both a day of remembrance and celebration, which is very American!
If you are looking for ways to celebrate with activities for the whole family, consider trying a few of the ideas that we found:
- Attend a Parade – Depending on where you live you might be able to catch a parade or two in person this year as restrictions are lessening due to the success of vaccines (yay!). Don't forget to wear your red, white, and blue! We found an easy patriotic shirt that you can create with your kids! All you need is a white t-shirt, red and blue fabric paint, a paper plate, and a little patience! Instructions Here
- Decorate your home with red, white, and blue – You are only limited by your imagination (and maybe your HOA). This is a great time to let your kids go wild with the crafts even if it is only going to be you guys celebrating this year! We found some great ideas for the experienced as well as novice crafters in us all!
- Visit the White House - The internet is an amazing place and we can go on a tour of the White House without having to go to Washington, DC. See all the ins and outs of the historic building.
- Thank a Veteran - Though a day of remembrance for the fallen, our Veterans would appreciate thanks as well. A Million Thanks is an organization that helps get your letters of appreciation to our military (past and present) in a safe and secure way. The organization also helps to provide higher education scholarships to the children of veterans. Operation Gratitude and Gary Sinise Foundation are also charities you may want to consider as they are both highly ranked by charity watch organizations.
- Enjoy the National Memorial Day Concert - The annual concert airs Sunday May 30th at 8 PM ET on PBS. If you miss the concert, you can catch it for the next two weeks online. It is well worth tuning in.
- Fire up the BBQ! Check out our blog on Energy Efficient Entertaining for ideas on how to save energy while entertaining this Memorial Day. Cooking outside helps to keep your home cooler. Storing drinks in an ice chest instead of your refrigerator will also help to reduce energy usage (the refrigerator will not have to work as hard to cool back down every time someone opens it).
- Wear a poppy in remembrance. You can even make one out of tissue paper. The use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance started in WWI and can be traced to the poem In Flanders Fields written by Lt. Col John McCrae. The Friday before Memorial Day is recognized as National Poppy Day.
In the midst of all of your fun, remember to take time to recognize and acknowledge those who have served and fallen to help keep our great country safe. At 3PM local time, stop and take a moment of remembrance.
We hope that you and your loved ones have a safe and happy Memorial Day! Your friends at APG&E