Memorial Day is a day to celebrate and remember all the brave members of the U.S. Miltary who died and gave the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for our country. This is our chance to take a moment to appreciate all they have done and be thankful for our lives and the country we live in today. However, with the arrival of COVID-19, our traditional Memorial Day activities like BBQing, parades, parties, and more are most likely going to be put on hold, like everything else. Not to worry, here are some ways you can celebrate Memorial Day indoors this year.
1. You can still BBQ
As the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day is a good day to get outside and spend time with friends and loved ones. Although you might not have the typical crowd at your BBQ, you and your quarantine group can still have some delicious food. Keep the tradition alive and fire up the grill. Enjoy your classic burgers, hot dogs, corn, and more.
2. Make donations to veteran services, charities, and foundations
We normally have parades to celebrate Memorial Day, and there will usually be Veterans there to participate and be recognized. However, since these parades probably won’t be a thing, you can still show your love and appreciation to these heroes by donating to veteran services, charities, and foundations. Donations can be made online to these foundations and here are some good ones to check out:
- The Wounded Warrior Project
- DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Charitable Service Trust
- Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation
Local veteran services in your area would also be good places to look at and are easy to donate food, money, or volunteer time too.
3. Watch a classic military movie
I know from experience, my dad, a veteran himself, loves to watch old, classic war movies on TV. These movies include Saving Private Ryan, Hacksaw Ridge, When We Were Soldiers, Glory, and so on. This allows us to see and attempt to understand the conditions, hardships, and triumphs that American soldiers endured. This can provide us with some kind of understanding, and therefore we can have more compassion and gratitude for our vets and the ones who have fallen.
There are also more recent military movies you can check out if you’re looking for something new such as 1917, Midway, and American Sniper.
4. Poppy arts and crafts
The poppy flower is a popular symbol for Memorial Day. If you didn’t know about this tradition, it goes back to WWI, where the poppy flower seeds were being scattered by the wind and since the ground was disturbed by the battle that took place, they began to take root and blossom.
Normally, you would see poppies given out during Memorial Day celebrations but you can also make some at home. Anything from red tissue paper to green pipe cleaners, these poppies can be crafted. and displayed around your home.
5. Call a veteran
Most of us know a veteran or an active duty member of the military. Memorial Day, might be a good day to give them a call to chat and thank them for their service. Most of them don’t get enough recognition so they might be surprised to even hear from you, but it will ultimately be appreciated. If you can’t get a hold of a veteran, you can even make a simple social media post and hope that a veteran somewhere will see it because you never know, they just might!
6. Decorate your house
Bring the flag out of the basement or garage and set it up in front of your home. Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, so it is the perfect time to decorate the outside of your home with the American Flag. If you don’t have a flag or anywhere to hang one, there are some great crafting ideas and decorations that incorporate the American Flag. For example, there are wreaths, banners, mini flags to put in the grass or potted plants, and so on. Find a flag that works best for your home and display it proudly.
7. Make a flag cake
While you display your flag, you can also eat one! This is a fun celebration that is even easy for kids to do. There is a simple, popular American Flag cake that is perfect for Memorial Day. All you need is:
- 1 loaf of pound cake
- 1 box of fresh strawberries
- 1 box of fresh blueberries
- 2 containers of whipped cream
- large rectangle dish
Cut the pound cake in 1-inch slices. Cut the strawberries in slices. Line the bottom of the rectangle dish with the slices of pound cake, add a layer of whipped cream, and sprinkle the blueberries and slices of strawberries on top. Then, add another layer of the pound cake on top, lining them evenly and covering them with another layer of whipped cream. Finally, place some blueberries in the top left corner of the cake to make them look like the stars of the American Flag. Then, place the sliced strawberries in horizontal lines to mimic the stripes of the flag. Make sure the rows are nice and even. Enjoy!
8. Listen to some classic country
There are a lot of great, classic country songs that celebrate our countries military that can be great to add to a BBQ, crafting party, or any time of the day really. Even if country music isn’t your thing, you can’t deny there are some classic songs that even you are familiar with that might even know all the words to! Give it a try!
9. Light a candle or sparkler
Usually, people gather and hold visuals for the fallen. You can do this in your own home as a tribute. You can say a prayer or some kind words and light a candle or even a sparkler if you’re outside.
10. Read/tell stories
There are some heartwarming stories on the internet about families who talk about their family or friends who have served in the military and died. This can be a great way to gain perspective on the millions of lives the military has touched. It can also be a good time to talk about and tell stories of people in your family or people you may know personally who have served and passed. This holiday is about honoring these members of the military and what better way to do that than to hear and tell their stories.
11. Have a moment of silence
Normally if you go to a Memorial Day event, they will have a moment of silence to honor those who have fallen. You can still do this in your home with your friends and family. It will be nice to pay your respects, take a break from the gathering/party, get serious, and remember what this day is really about. A moment of silence seems like the least we can do for these heroes.
12. Be with family
The whole meaning behind Memorial Day is to remember the ones who have made the ultimate sacrifices not only for our countries but every single of one of its citizens. They fought and died for our rights and our ability to spend time with our loved ones in peace and happiness. What better way to honor them, than doing just that? So, tell a loved one you love them and hug them tight.