Typically Memorial Day includes several standard events – flags hung proudly along Main St. USA, parades, picnics, visits to the cemetery. With our lives turned all around because of the pandemic many of these standards will have to look different this year.
Check your local listings for American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts. In New Jersey American Legion Post 184 is hosting a drive-by parade on Sunday, May 24, in lieu of their traditional parade. The police and fire departments will drive through town, and people can register online for the parade to drive by their house. For more information in NJ check out NJ.com
This statement is spot on: “The true meaning of Memorial Day is commonly forgotten,” said Commander of Post 184 Harry Weimar. “We hope these learning opportunities and the parade experience will make everyone remember ‘freedom isn’t free,’ especially the next generation.”
Cemeteries are offering appointments to place wreaths at the cemetery with social distancing measures in place. Check with your specific cemetery for their guidelines or check out Military.com’s information regarding National Cemetery visits this year.
Closer to home ideas include decorating your front porch or lawn with balloons, streamers or other items. This idea on 2MyHero‘s “Celebrate Welcome Home” Board on Pinterest is simple, but would be an easy display to set up with just balloons and tape. And don’t forget to hang a flag! As far as I know, there are no “Flag Police”, but here are the official flag guidelines if you need them.
Of course Gold Star families always love hearing from their friends with expressions of remembrance and encouragement. The written word will never go out of style.
We are all getting more and more adept at online everything with so many limitations in place on public activities. This shift is also bringing about more creative uses of the internet to bring some semblance of normal to our lives.
There are many online celebrations you can join in on:
One great avenue is to watch “Parade of Heroes,” a virtual event organized by the genealogy site Ancestry. It streams first on Ancestry’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AncestryUS, at 8 a.m. PT May 25. It will then be made available later to stream on www.ancestry.com.
“There’s never been a more important time to honor our ancestors’ stories of triumph and to preserve the memory of WWII, one of the most significant events in world history,” said Margo Georgiadis, president and CEO of Ancestry. “When we take time to learn about our ancestors, we give power to their stories and pay tribute to their service. We also can unlock inspiration to become stronger and more resilient ourselves. This Memorial Day, Ancestry is making it easier for people to discover their personal connections to the war, and commemorate those who served and sacrificed.”
The 45-minute event is hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and will feature a musical performance by singer-songwriter Tori Kelly as well as interviews with veterans and Memorial Day tributes.There will also be a special focus on World War II, due to this year’s 75th anniversary of its conclusion, including patriotic hymns performed by the Lincoln Way Marching Band from New Lenox, Illinois, according to Military.com.
If you’re looking for something a little more “small town Americana”, you can join New Jersies’ Gail Van Prooien in singing or playing The Star-Spangled Banner at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day, to show respect for those who have died while serving in the military.
While the yearly National Memorial Day Concert won’t happen on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol this year, the event will still air at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 24 on PBS. Actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise will host a special presentation of the illustrious concert, which will include new performances and tributes filmed in different locations around the nation and renowned stories from past concerts.
Comment below and tell how you will be celebrating Memorial Day this year. If you send a 2MyHero military greeting card tell about how 2MyHero military greeting cards, stickers, care packages or Gold Star military sympathy greeting cards have helped you encourage and connect with your military loved one or with a Gold Star mom or dad!
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