Memorial Day is annually celebrated on the last Monday in May. For some people it simply means a refreshing and fun three-day weekend, but the truth is that this holiday holds a very special significance that everyone should recognize and appreciate.
The real meaning behind Memorial Day goes beyond BBQs and trips to the beach. Memorial Day is a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our country while serving in the military. It’s also a great opportunity to show honor and respect to veterans, which is something we should strive to do all year long. In what ways can we honor our veterans?
Here are 10 things to do on Memorial Day, that include ways to honor veterans.
Have a cookout with some Memorial Day wine
Take a trip to the park, beach, or a local lake with some friends and have a BBQ. To remind the party of the meaning behind the celebration, bring a special bottle of Memorial Day wine. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from our Honor the Brave Cabernet Sauvignon goes to the Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit. Click here to learn more: Honor the Brave
Write a letter to a soldier
Thanks to Operation Gratitude, anyone can write a thankful letter to a current soldier or veteran. You can also put together a thoughtful care package for a deployed soldier through this organization as well.
Donate clothes to the local VFW
Another very helpful way to show appreciation for veterans is to make a donation to your local VFW. On Memorial Day weekend, take some time to go through your closet and get rid of those items you never wear. Winter clothing is especially valuable.
Volunteer at a local veterans health clinic
Call your local veterans health clinic and ask how you can be a volunteer. There are many different ways you can help out, from delivering flowers and mail, to discharging patients.
Attend a fun, local event
Many communities host Memorial Day events with performances and tributes. Check your local newspaper to see if one of these events will be going on somewhere near you: Memorial Day parades, festivals, or block parties.
Help out an elderly veteran
If you know an elderly veteran, Memorial Day is an excellent opportunity to surprise them at home with a helping hand. By offering to help mow the lawn or clean their house, you’ll give them a useful gift they’ll certainly appreciate.
Babysit for a military spouse
This is a very practical way you can offer to help out a military family. By babysitting for a military spouse, you can allow him or her to have a much-needed break. This simple act of kindness will be immensely valuable and memorable.
Donate airline miles to the Hero Miles Program
The Hero Miles Program enables you to donate your unused frequent flyer miles to ill or injured service members and their families. The tickets are used for traveling that is related to the service member’s medical condition.
Donate a car to Cars for Troops
Cars for U.S. Troops is a donation program that will pick up any car you’d like to get rid of (running or not) and let you choose which veteran charity to donate the value of the vehicle to. Donations are also tax deductible.
Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance
Wherever you are on Memorial Day, you can stop what you’re doing at 3 p.m. local time and participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. This is a nationwide movement to pause for a minute and reflect on honoring our fallen soldiers.
Each of these 10 Memorial Day events incorporate a recognition of the true meaning behind this special holiday. We hope that these activities will help you celebrate our country and our many freedoms this Memorial Day. Enjoy the three-day weekend!