Memorial Day is the perfect opportunity to get out and celebrate as a family. If you’re looking for some different ways to the holiday, here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Visit local military monuments.
Houston is home to a number of military monuments. (will add some in the morning) Find the nearest monument and take some time to stop by with your family. You’ll find it’s a great way to learn about the specific war or wars that the monument is dedicated to honor, and you’ll be able to start a conversation with your kids about American history and the significance of military memorials.
- Honor the National Moment of Remembrance.
Many people don’t know the true meaning behind Memorial Day. In response, Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance. It asks all Americans to pause, wherever they are, at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day in a moment of national unity for one minute. That specific time was chosen because it’s the time when most Americans are expected to be out, enjoying the freedoms of this country. You’ll find trains blasting their horns at that time, and all Major League Baseball games will be pausing for one minute at the time as well. It’s a simple and easy way to remember the true meaning of the day.
- Decorate your home with flags.
If you have younger children, craft time is always a great way to bond as a family while also using the opportunity as a teachable moment. Grab some fabric, fabric paint and stencils to help your kids make their own flags or American flag-style tributes. It’s tradition to fly the flag at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, so you can also explain this tradition and what it means as you fly your own flag at home. You can also use this time to teach them about the flag, what each star represents, and why there are 13 stripes on the flag. Then, you’ll have some great home-made flags to use for years to come.
- Thank a veteran.
While Memorial Day is a time for remembering, and honoring our fallen soldiers, it’s also a wonderful time to thank those soldiers past and present who are right here in our midst today. Thank them for all they have done to protect our country and our freedoms. Don’t know a veteran or want to do more? You can write a letter to a veteran or soldier! Check out: OperationGratitude.com for more information about writing letters or sending care packages to soldiers currently deployed.
- Barbecue with friends and family.
Of course, the big one for Memorial Day is the backyard barbecue. However, you can make the most of the holiday by making sure your barbecue is patriotic and American-themed. Stick to the classics like hot dogs and hamburgers, but find ways to incorporate red, white and blue in your decorations and side dishes. Ask people to dress in their best red, white and blue gear and serve drinks that match the color scheme. Use the holiday to honor the past, while also making memories with your family that will last a lifetime.