Honoring & Remembering: Celebrating Memorial Day the Right Way

May 10, 2019 Posted in Community No Comment

What Memorial Day is really about & the best ways to celebrate it

Memorial Day (always falling on the last Monday in May,) is about so much more than a picnic, and dressing up in red, white, and blue. It is not just a day for traditional celebrations or to throw a party—it is a day to remember those who died for our country. Brave soldiers (men and women) who gave the ultimate sacrifice—people we loved deeply and lost.

Early celebrations of Memorial Day, according to History.org, began after the Civil War, which had claimed many lives. In the late 1860’s, people across the country started to host springtime tributes to the loved ones they had lost in war, and to recognized them by decorating their graves with flowers and saying prayers.

Today, this recognition of Memorial Day has evolved. It often includes parties with flags, balloons and all sorts of celebrations. While it’s easy to understand why Memorial Day shouldn’t exactly be celebrated in the same way as the 4th of July, it does deserve to be recognized, and so do the amazing people that the holiday represents. These standout individuals should certainly be remembered and celebrated, and we’ve pulled together some great ideas for honoring them the right way this Memorial Day and in the future.

  1. Gather with loved ones – Get family and close friends together to think about what the day represents. Doing get togethers like these around a meal is the perfect way to encourage stories and deep conversations that you’re likely to always remember. Ask questions about family members who have served and learn about their lives and who they were as individuals. Take time to hear and share silly stories or wonderful memories in their honor.
  2. Pull out photos – No stories are complete without some pictures. Dig out old albums, newer albums and any photos you have of loved ones who died serving our country. Share them with family members old and young, and preserve their memory. Bond over these memories and the feelings you have for your loved one.
  3. Pin some Poppys – The poppy flower has long been a symbol of our fallen soldiers. Grab some, plant some, or pin some to your clothing to honor this tradition. Cassandra Crosby breaks down the history of this beautiful red and black flower, and details why this tradition is so important to keep alive in this blog.
  4. Visit a Grave – If your loved ones are buried nearby, Memorial Day can be a wonderful time to visit their gravesite or to gather around their ashes. Take a moment to join together in prayer, or to decorate the area where they were laid to rest. This can be a peaceful and therapeutic moment.

Memorial Day can be a painful time for many across the community, so it’s also important to remember that there are support groups and grief resources available. Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is a great example of one of these groups. As they note on their website, they “…offer compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in our Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service.” These groups can be incredibly helpful and can connect those who have lost loved ones with others who are in the same shoes and who truly understand. This type of support can be irreplaceable. Reach out for more information on TAPS:

TAPS

3033 Wilson BLVD.
Arlington, VA 22201
800-959-8277

This Memorial Day and always, Geppetto Catering would like to express our deepest appreciation for all military personnel, and our heartfelt gratitude for those who have died for the freedoms that we enjoy today. We are in awe of these sacrifices and will always work to honor your memory.

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