May 19, 2020

A Patriotic Guide to Creating a Memorial Day to Remember

Delicious food, decorations, games and family are the makings of a great Memorial Day weekend. However, when making plans it’s paramount to not lose sight of the real reason for the holiday. The fourth Monday in May is a time to honor the men and women that gave up their lives while serving in the U.S. military to secure our nation’s freedom.

This year, due to COVID-19 many public observations and parades have been canceled. But you can still keep the true meaning of the holiday at heart by including it in your plans. We’ve gathered up some great ways to help you show your patriotism. And plan the perfect day. From all-American activities and ceremonies to food and games, you’ll be sure to have a fun-filled day celebrating the unofficial start of the summer.

Start the Day with a History Lesson

While most adults know the true meaning of Memorial Day, kids may not. Before you dig into a buffet of delicious barbecue, tell kids why Memorial Day is a national U.S. holiday. You can follow-up with a brief history lesson that will help to put the reason behind the holiday in perspective. The first Memorial Day was observed in 1868 three years after the Civil War by a proclamation from Maj. Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic. At the time it was known as Decoration Day because grievers placed flowers in tribute on the graves of the fallen. And although it was observed for years, it did not become a federal holiday until 103 years later in 1971.

Schedule a Memorial Day Activity Everyone Can Participate In

This year there are other ways to observe and pay tribute to the fallen in lieu of public observations. Many cities and communities are conducting virtual Memorial Day ceremonies. To participate in the comfort and safety of your own home the 2020 National Memorial Day Concert on PBS airs at 7 p.m., Sunday, May 24 on KLRU. Additionally, the entire family can join the city of Taylor, Texas for a virtual salute. Another way is to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance that encourages Americans everywhere to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. The Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law in 2000 to ensure the fallen will never be forgotten.

Serve Yummy Recipes

From grilled favorites to the sweet and the thirst quenching, you can create a backyard barbecue menu filled with memories and deliciousness. Main dish favorites like grilled chicken kabobs and burgers pair well with Bruschetta Pasta Salad, Mexican Street Corn and Tex-Mex Deviled Eggs. But don’t forget to include the traditional side dishes of baked beans, coleslaw, and homespun potato salad. Spice them up by adding diced jalapenos for true Texas side dishes. Carry your patriotic spirit through to the end with red, white, and blue desserts. Trifles, cheesecakes, brownies and pies piled high with sweet red and blue berries are super yummy. Patriotic decorated cupcakes, cookies and ice cream treats make it extra special.

Let the Games Begin

Bocce ball, volleyball, corn hole, OH YEA! No backyard barbecue is complete unless there are a ton of outdoor games. While most consider Memorial Day the unofficial start of summer, in Texas summer is already here. With temperatures soaring into the 90s on most days it’s all about keeping cool. After a competitive round of bocce ball or friendly game of tag cool off with some great water games. Kids love them, and so do adults. From squirt gun tag to fill the bucket to classic balloon toss, beating the Texas heat will be super cool.

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