15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (2024)

Many of us take the opportunity to gather with friends and family over the long Memorial Day weekend.

Aside from spending quality time with our loved ones, there are plenty of Memorial Day pastimes that will remind us all of the reason for the holiday, which is always observed on the last Monday in May. This year, the holiday falls on Monday, May 27.

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was created out of the tradition of bringing flowers to fallen soldiers' graves after the Civil War.

Today, the holiday honors all U.S. military personnel who lost their lives serving our country.

While popular Memorial Day activities often have a festive element, it's important to remember that Memorial Day is inherently a solemn occasion.

That's why the federal holiday is an opportunity to get involved in your community, whether you're decorating for a parade, visiting a monument, or volunteering with veterans.

These activities will get the whole family involved in honoring and learning about our nation’s history.

Make Memorial Day bouquets

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (1)

Gather a bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers to bring the Memorial Day spirit home.To add extra pizzazz, secure the bouquet with a flag-themed ribbon and pass the finished product out to neighbors.

Learn more about American history

Memorial Day is a great opportunity to brush up on your knowledge of America's past. Pick up a biography, novel, or nonfiction book to learn more about the brave military personnel who shaped our history.

Attend a Memorial Day parade

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (2)

Hundreds of towns and cities across America host local parades to celebrate Memorial Day. If you happen to be in Washington, D.C., check out the National Memorial Day Parade, the nation's largest.

Mark the National Moment of Remembrance

At 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, take a moment to pause and honor members of the U.S. military who died serving our country.

Watch the National Memorial Day Concert

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (3)

This annual concert is a Memorial Day must-see. Watch the performance on your local PBS station or livestream it on their website.

Make poppy lapel pins

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (4)

Poppy flowers became popular symbols for remembrance of fallen soldiers after World War I, largely due to the influence of the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae. You can create your own poppy lapel pin by crafting a paper flower or attaching a real poppy with a safety pin.

Visit a local war monument, museum, or battlefield

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (5)

There are hundreds of historical sites that commemorate U.S. soldiers across the country. Pay a visit to a nearby battlefield, military museum, or war memorial this Memorial Day.

Visit a national park

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (6)

Taking in the natural beauty of our country will certainly remind you to honor and appreciate the brave people who fought to protect it.

Many national parks also contain monuments and memorials that honor soldiers and commemorate past battles.

Create Memorial Day decorations

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (7)

Whether you're going to a local parade or simply observing the holiday at home, create some red, white, and blue decorations that you can display proudly.

Kids can help make DIY American flag decorations, or get the whole family involved in decorating your porch with bunting or wreaths.

Host a patriotic potluck

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (8)

What better way to celebrate Memorial Day than connecting with your community? Gather your friends and loved ones for a holiday potluck.

Besides the barbeque, you can whip up some red, white and blue desserts.

Bring flowers to a national cemetery

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (9)

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day due to the practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers.

You can continue this longstanding tradition by volunteering or bringing flowers to one of our national cemeteries. (Of course, make sure they're accepting flowers before you go.)

Find a participating nearby national cemetery here.

Visit a veteran-owned business

While you’re doing your Memorial Day shopping this year, consider supporting a veteran-owned business. You can find a list of local businesses here.

Wear red, white, and blue

This one is the easiest of the bunch: Show off your patriotic style with an outfit that incorporates our flag's colors.

Watch a historical movie or documentary

Immerse yourself in events you’ve only read about in books. Whether based on a true story or simply drawn from history, check out acclaimed movies like “Dunkirk“ or 2023 Oscar nominee “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

Volunteer at a veterans organization

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (10)

While honoring fallen soldiers, we should also think of our living veterans who may need assistance. For a full list of volunteer opportunities and ways to donate your time, check out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs here.

Sophie Caldwell

Associate Lifestyle Reporter

15 Memorial Day activities to commemorate the holiday (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dong Thiel

Last Updated:

Views: 5837

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dong Thiel

Birthday: 2001-07-14

Address: 2865 Kasha Unions, West Corrinne, AK 05708-1071

Phone: +3512198379449

Job: Design Planner

Hobby: Graffiti, Foreign language learning, Gambling, Metalworking, Rowing, Sculling, Sewing

Introduction: My name is Dong Thiel, I am a brainy, happy, tasty, lively, splendid, talented, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.