12 Things to Do to Honor and Celebrate this Memorial Day

I’m uncertain how Memorial Day has evolved into BBQs and family gatherings. Still, I am here for it—honoring the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces is an annual tradition observed on the last Monday of May. Do you have plans? Here are a few ideas for how to spend the day.

1. Visit a Soldier’s Grave

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Do you know somebody who served in the U.S. military and is no longer with us? If their gravesite is within range, buy some flowers and pay respect to your veteran loved ones, friends, and neighbors. Typically, cemeteries put little American flags by all the graves for the holiday.

However, if they do not, planting one is a common way to show appreciation for service. If you don’t have personal veterans to service, you can volunteer to put flowers on veteran graves or donate to that cause at Memorial Day Flowers.

2. Honor the Active Duty and Veterans In Your Family

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Memorial Day is a day to honor fallen soldiers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your appreciation to those still with us. I realize we have Veteran’s Day too, but celebrating our veterans should be more than a once-a-year thing.

I’m confident this day may be difficult for some who served and lost friends to combat. Remind them that you care. Send them something or pick up the phone and thank them for their services and let them know you are thinking of them today. Alternatively, you could host a gathering and invite them to spend the day with you.

3. Spend Money With Veteran Owned Businesses

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Memorial Day, like many Federal holidays, has become a massive day for shopping Memorial Day sales. It seems a little exploitative to me. However, if you’re going to shop, consider spending your money with veterans. You can “Google Veteran Owned Business Near Me” or even search them on Amazon.

4. Watch Patriotic Films

Saving Private Ryan
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Another way to honor our fallen soldiers is to watch patriotic movies. They are the closest thing for many of us to gain insight and wrap our minds around the sacrifices these Veterans made for our country. The Normandy beach opening scene of Saving Private Ryan (1998) is forever engrained into my brain. 

5. Make Red, White, and Blue Foods

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Making red, white, and blue foods and treats is a fun way to get the kids involved with the day. Additionally, you can deliver these treats to the veterans in your family or neighborhood. Or put them out if hosting a BBQ or dinner.

6. Write Letters To Our Troops

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Did you know that you can write letters to active duty military? Several operations, including Support Our Troops, are in place for you to be an anonymous pen pal sharing positive light and love.

7. Make Care Packages for Our Troops

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There are several resources for helping create care packages for soldiers around the world. Operation We Are Here, Operation Shoebox, Operation Gratitude, and Hero Box are a handful of sites to donate, send care packages and more.

8. Build Homes for Veterans

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Did you know that you can help build homes for veterans? Building Homes for Our Heroes is a nationwide partnership of communities and corporations that have built over 340 homes for veterans.

9. Make Patriotic Arts and Crafts

American flag chalk art
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Another fantastic way to get children involved and create an opportunity to explain what Memorial Day is is to make patriotic arts and crafts. If you have veteran loved ones or neighbors, consider making American chalk flags on the sidewalk in front of their homes to show appreciation.

10. Listen To Veteran Stories

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Did you know that you can listen to the stories of our nation’s veterans and active-duty military members? Visit StoryCorps for video testimonials. 

11. Take a Moment of Silence

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Memorial Day is one of America’s most grim occasions. So take a moment of silence to remember those who’ve lost their lives defending our country.

12. Pray for the Families of Fallen Soldiers

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Finally, pray for the families of fallen soldiers, active-duty members, and veterans in your life. God can do much more than any of us can do to honor them.

More From Sober Healing

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This article was published and syndicated by Sober Healing.


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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.