Friday, May 17, 2013

Five Patriotic Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Ideas For Thanking Those Who Have Served Our Country 

''And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.'' - John F. Kennedy

This famous quote could serve as a reminder for the reason we celebrate Memorial Day, which traditionally symbolizes the unofficial start of summer. As you probably know, the holiday commemorates those who have died while serving in the military.

Most of us take the opportunity of the three-day Memorial Day weekend to enjoy a mini-vacation with family or friends, either at home or away. But there are ways to easily incorporate an activity in the true spirit of Memorial Day into your weekend.

Here are five ideas:

Take a hike. Yes, we are suggesting that you literally go on a hike. What better way to commemorate our military than to enjoy the beauty of nature while contemplating the many freedoms that we enjoy in the United States thanks to our military.

Go to a parade or other ceremony where retired or active military are planning to be among the guests. Even if you don’t know them, you can tell them personally what their sacrifices have meant to you.

Read a book about Memorial Day with your kids and teach them the importance of the holiday. Talk to them about the difference between living in a free country and living in one where its residents are restricted.

Visit a grave or (graves) of those who have died in a war. Take a flower, even if it’s only from your backyard, and a simple note anchored with a rock that says “Thank You,” or more if you wish. Such a small gesture just may lighten the heart of that person’s relative when they come to visit the grave.

Visit with retired military. If you have more time and the desire to do more, you could visit a home for retired folks and seek out a military veteran who’s willing to visit with you. Again, thank him or her for his or her service and ask whether there are any stories about their experiences that he or she would be willing to share.

Photo credit: eddiecoyote 

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