13 Ways to Make Memorial Day Meaningful

Memorial Day is often a day of barbecues, parties, and celebrating the coming of summer. It can be easy to get lost in all the activities and miss out on the opportunity to honor military heroes and loved ones who have passed away. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the day with more meaning attached, here are some ideas.

1. Display the U.S. flag outside your house.

2. Write a letter or make a card for a deployed soldier through the organization A Million Thanks.

3. Decorate the Memorial of a Fallen Service Member with Flowers or Cards. Visit cem.va.gov for a complete listing of veteran’s cemeteries and contact information.

4. Create a menu made up of favorite recipes from your ancestors. Take a trip back in time as you find out who served in the military.

5. Bring doughnuts or patriotic cookies to your local veterans hospital or VFW.

6. Suggest Your School Participates in the Take a Veteran to School Day.

7. Tie yellow ribbons around the trunks of your trees as a reminder that we support our country’s men and women in the military and are waiting for them to come home safely. Read more about the history of the yellow ribbon here.

8. Make a Care Package for Adopt a Platoon or Operation Gratitude.

9. Learn to Distinguish the Different Military Uniforms with Coloring Pages.

10. Read a book about Memorial Day with your kids like The Wall, Hero MomHero Dad or Night Catch.

11. Before dinner or bedtime, say a prayer or have a moment of silence in remembrance of those who’ve died. Or, take part in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m.

12. Go online together and read the names of fallen soldiers. You won’t be able to read every name, but just seeing the lists will help your kids understand that those who sacrificed their lives are more than just numbers.

13. If you attend a parade, teach your kids to stand and place their hands over their hearts when the flag goes by and stand and clap when veterans march past.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."