May 23, 2017

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and became a federal holiday after the American Civil War to commemorate the soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day was extended to honor all Americans who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. Nearly one in four seniors is a veteran, making Memorial Day a special holiday among retirement communities. Here are some of the ways you can observe and honor the holiday with loved ones this year.  

Patriotic Parades

A great way to show your support for veterans is by attending a local Memorial Day parade. Wave your American flag and celebrate those who have served and continue to serve our country. Children and grandchildren will love the fun atmosphere and learning about American history. Memorial Day also marks the unofficial beginning of summer, so be sure to dress for warm weather and bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

Red, White and Blue Picnic

Many retirement communities observe Memorial Day by hosting a picnic for residents. Enjoy red, white, and blue themed food and drinks while gathering with family and friends to celebrate and honor the holiday.

Visit Local Memorials

Another great way to observe Memorial Day is by visiting the memorials or grave sites of veterans. Honoring our fallen heroes with American flags or flowers is a special way to remember their service and sacrifice.  

Observe the National Moment of Remembrance

To honor those who have served, observe the National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day. At 3 p.m. local time, all Americans are asked to observe a moment of remembrance for those who have died while serving. During this time, there is a moment of silence followed by the playing of the “Taps” bugle call.

Write a Letter to Veterans

A special way to pay our respect to veterans and current servicemen and women is by sending a care package or handwritten letter. Organizations like Operation Gratitude send thousands of letters and packages to veterans and individuals currently in service. Writing these letters is an easy and fun activity for seniors and grandchildren to complete together on Memorial Day.