Celebrating Memorial Day

Find out the meaning behind celebrating Memorial Day and plenty of fun and patriotic ways to spend the day.

Memorial Day military figures

Why do we celebrate Memorial Day? This American holiday, always observed the last Monday in May, is meant to honor all the men and women who have given their lives while serving in the United States military. The holiday was originally called Decoration Day and came about a couple years following the Civil War. However, it was not until 1971 that Memorial Day became an official holiday.

Flags are also to be displayed at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day. After that, the proper flag etiquette calls for them to be raised to full height. Half-staff flags are an extra way of honoring all our fallen heroes. If you have any more questions regarding displaying flags on Memorial Day, we have more information for you in a previous Memorial Day blog post.

How do you plan on celebrating Memorial Day? Here are a few ideas.

Memorial Day stick American flags

Some people honor fallen soldiers by visiting cemeteries where loved ones are buried. If you really want to show your respect, try placing a small American flag by the graves of veterans or special grave markers for their specific branch of the military.

Or how about a parade? Many cities also hold parades to celebrate Memorial Day. Check here to find the closest one to you. The largest Memorial Day parade is in Washington, D.C. After almost 70 years without a national parade, the American Veterans Center worked to bring back the great tradition and give veterans the dedication they deserve. The parade has now been running since 2005 and continues to draw giant crowds of people of all ages.

Memorial Day parade flags

Have kids that need a little entertainment? Try one of these festive and fun flag crafts and games, such as Memorial Day karaoke or making flag hand prints. We have gathered plenty of patriotic activities that are sure to entertain children of all ages.

And of course you’ll need to eat on Memorial Day! Why not eat in style, with these flag-inspired cakes, cookies, fruity treats, and more. Find all the Memorial Day recipes you’ll need right here, with easy to follow instructions and patriotic pictures. Try out the cake below, or a fruity red, white and blue sangria.

Memorial Day flag cake

Looking for an even more unique Memorial Day tradition? Every year tens of thousands of people gather on Ala Moana Beach to join in the Lantern Floating event in Hawaii. The special event is available via live stream and telecast for those that can’t make it to the island. The event allows people a more personal moment to reflect and honor those that have fallen before us. Visit the website for more information.

Memorial Day Hawaii Lanterns

If you have any special Memorial Day traditions of your own, we’d love to hear about them. Leave us a comment below!

Credit: History.com

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