Everyone looks forward to Memorial Day weekend, a time full of pool openings, road trips to the beach, backyard BBQs, and retail sales. It’s good to remember that this holiday is more than just barbecuing and bargain hunting — Memorial Day was originally created to honor those who died in the service of our country, something we should be mindful of in the midst of our celebrations.
At OakwoodLife, we believe in the power of connection. This year, make an effort to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country by focusing on the true meaning of this holiday. Here are a few ways we can honor our heroes on this special day of remembrance:
Reach out to a veteran or Gold Star family
Chances are you know someone who lost a friend or relative while serving in the military, so this may be a tough day of grieving. It could mean a lot to reach out, so try bringing over food, inviting them to spend the holiday with your family, or simply asking them about their loved ones. They will surely appreciate knowing that someone cares.
Throw a truly patriotic Memorial Day outdoor BBQ
Somebody has to throw that big Memorial Day neighborhood grill-out, so why not step up and be that person? Show your patriotic spirit by decorating with American flags, serving all-American burgers and hot dogs, and creating a music playlist with American-themed songs. If you have any relatives, friends, or neighbors who are veterans or who have lost a military member in their lives, offer to let them say a few words or put up a memorial shrine for this person with a booklet for others to sign. Last but not least, put the fireworks away — the loud noises can be distressing.
Honor the fallen through your actions
You can find several organizations for veterans with opportunities to help out. Locate a local chapter and donate or volunteer your time with the organization, or volunteer to assist with a Memorial Day event like 5K races, parades, and festivals. Grab your family and take a trip to a military museum or monument to learn about the military history of your area. You can even offer to drive elderly parents or spouses of lost loved ones to the cemetery so they can pay their respects in person.
Watch the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS
This star-studded and award-winning TV event has become an American tradition and is one of the highest-rated programs on PBS. This year the concert airs on Sunday, May 26 and will feature celebrities like Joe Mantegna, Gary Sinise, and Jack Everly as well as military musicians and choruses. It could be fun to host a watch party at your house or even air the show during your outdoor BBQ celebration.
We hope you take the time to remember our military heroes this holiday, and we’re glad you’re part of our community — whether you’re a resident at SpringHouse Village at Daybreak or Fairway Villas or are still exploring your options. If you do step up to host that neighborhood BBQ, please save us a hot dog or two!