When I was young and living the carefree life of a teen, my parents would take us to our country club to celebrate the weekend.
My Dad would golf, and Mum and I would hang out at the pool. She would slather cocoa butter all over her and I would jump in the pool and play with my friends. I remember in 1976 Speedo came out with a patriotic swimsuit and I got one. Oh, how I loved that suit.
I also swam for the club so it was efficient as well. It was razorback, white background with red and blue stars and stripes and I thought I was the Princess I was always called. :)
After we pooled we would go home and get ready to grill out. The club had a BBQ and then at dusk, the fireworks would start. We would throw our blanket down on the golf course and have our dinner, that smelled so wonderful I can smell it now.
Then, the music would start, and then BAM, POP, SWOOSH the display started. It usually lasted around 30-45 minutes, but then I'm a kid, maybe it just seemed like it was that long. I just recall sitting there listening and watching and thinking life could not get any better.
I am quite sure that tradition continues now. I know lots of friends who gather with their family and friends and either put on their firework display or go to a community spot to watch.
However, the true meaning of Memorial Day is to honor our military personnel who did not have the luxury of returning home to their families. Here are just a few ways to pay tribute to those soldiers.
1. Donate to the US Department of Veterans Affairs
You can either donate your time or give funds to this organization. Both will be greatly appreciated. For those interested here is the VA link.
2. Send a Care Package
If you have a friend or just want to give any military personnel a "gift from home" there are two groups that will assist you in that. SupportOurTroops.org and OperationGratitude.com. Both organizations make it super easy to facilitate. They provide lists of what to buy or ways to donate.
3. Fly A Flag
This is a cheap and easy way to show your support for the men and women who have given their lives to keep our country free. Here is a list of guidelines and etiquette for flying the American Flag on Memorial Day.
4. Say A Prayer
Saying a prayer is a great way to remember all the veterans who sacrificed their lives for our safety and freedom.
5. Visit A Cemetery
One of my favorite things to do while in college, was visiting the graveyard that was near us. It was in southern Georgia and a great deal of the lots was from the early 100s. I found it fascinating. If you have a Veteran's Cemetery near you, they welcome people coming and placing flags on the gravesites. It's the little things that make us feel connected to our military.
6. Observing A Moment Of Silence
The National Remembering of Silence occurs at 3 pm local time, on Memorial Day. Established by Congress in 2000, it's a minute-long silence meant to recognize awareness and reverence.
However you spend your Memorial Day weekend, I wish it to be both fun, safe, and spirited.
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