Traditionally Memorial Day has been the kick-off to summer, filled with parades, barbecues, and gatherings of friends and family. The pools and amusement parks would be open, and everyone would shed their winter layers and head out to enjoy the lazy days of summer.
Memorial Day 2020 will look a bit different. No parades, pools, amusement parks. Gatherings will be small and intimate. Perhaps that’s a good thing. Maybe that will give us time to take stock in what Memorial Day was established to celebrate (spoiler alert it’s not mattress sales) and provide us with an opportunity to reflect on what we have.
Memorial Day was established as a day to honor and mourn the military personal who have died while serving this country. We’ve put together a few ways your family can honor those fallen heroes as well as kick-off summer while staying at home.
Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day while Staying at Home
Things to Do:
Red poppies are a widely recognized memorial symbol for soldiers who have died in the conflict. Celebrate by making and displaying a red poppy in your window. Here are some ideas to make them for every age and skill level:
- Poppy Craft (toddlers and preschoolers)
- Large Tissue Paper Poppies (kindergarten and older)
- Egg Carton Poppy Wreath (all ages)
- Pinwheel Poppies (elementary and older)
- DIY Felt Poppies (tweens and older)
If you’re still all-in on e-learning and looking for some educational resources and activities check out Irish Twin’s Momma Memorial Day History & Activities
Moment of Silence
Take a moment at 3:00 p.m. and join in the National Moment of Remembrance.
Display the American Flag
Hang your American Flag outside. Don’t have one? Get the kids crafting something patriotic. We have lots of ideas on our A Little Red, White, and Blue Pinterst Board.
Have your Own Parade
Get the kids to decorate their bikes, break out the band instruments and recorders and march up and down your block. If you have family that lives nearby go March in front of their house and just for fun toss candy to them!
Light a Candle
The Huntley American Legion is asking people to light a candle at dusk on May 25 and place it on their porch.
- A red candle to remember the blood shed in battle for the protection of our freedoms.
- A white candle to keep our POWs/MIAs ever in our thoughts and prayers as we await their return home
- A blue candle to salute the memories of those who made it home but are no longer with us.
However you choose, whether it’s one candle or three, share photos of those candles on social media, tagging The American Legion National Headquarters, and using the hashtag #candlesofhonor so the message will reach families everywhere.
Things to Watch:
We are missing the parades, the ceremonies the celebrations. While we can’t be there in person we can be there virtually.
- Watch Leonard Cohen read “In Flander’s Fields” on YouTube
- A Memorial Day Virtual Ceremony will be broadcast via the City of Highland Facebook, and YouTube at 10:00 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.
- PBS will air the National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday May 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET, you can also see featured stories and watch past performances on their webpage.
Things to make and Eat
The City of Highland Park is encouraging everyone to host a “front-porch” or driveway barbecue for their own family in their neighborhoods on Monday, May 25 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. to celebrate Memorial Day and give a shout out to their neighbors.
We think this is a great idea and everyone around the region to do the same! Text your neighbors, roll out the barbecue, and kick-off summer as a socially distanced group. Here are some of our favorite recipes:
- Natural Firecracker Pop
- Dye Free Patriotic Ice Cream
- Red White and Blue Layered Drinks
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Southern Barbecue Beef brisket
- Homemade Rance Dip
- Apple Cherry Cobbler
- Perfectly grilled barbecue chicken
- Favorite Grill Recipes
How will you be celebrating Memorial Day at home?