Memorial Day Weekend is here. Any exciting plans?
As you may know, Memorial Day was established to remember those who died while serving our country through the military.
It is also a good time to remember the passing of loved ones and those who influenced your life.
“Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s Word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7).
For this week’s DHD, here are six ways to observe Memorial Day this year.
- Visit a cemetery
It’s always good to pay a visit and offer flowers or another tribute to your loved ones who have died. An annual tradition for Karen and me on Memorial Day is to visit three cemeteries where our family members who died are buried. There’s some distance between each cemetery, and the drive allows us to reflect on memories and how these loved ones influenced and meant so much to us.
Many cemeteries have special events commemorating all military members who died in the line of duty. Consider going to a nearby cemetery and see what they have planned for Memorial Day. If nothing else, notice the gravestones that have American flags or other special tributes for the occasion and maybe look at what is on the gravestone. You might be impressed by how these military heroes are remembered.
- Learn about the history of Memorial Day
There are multiple websites that you can google to discover how Memorial Day originated. On history.com, I found out Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day in 1868 by General John Logan to remember soldiers who died during the Civil War. Exactly 100 years later, in 1968, Congress passed an act that officially renamed the holiday Memorial Day to not only remember Civil War deaths but also those who died in all wars.
Something else I learned about Memorial Day traditions is it’s customary to wear a poppy. Walker Moore, I thought of you when I heard about this.
- Fly a flag
I love seeing the American flag flown, especially in neighborhoods. This tells me people appreciate living in our country. They could be a military veteran, a recent American citizen or just a patriot.
If you have a flag, fly it on Monday and be willing to connect with fellow Americans. It can be a great demonstration of unity (or desiring unity in our country).
- Ask neighbors about loved ones who passed
Have you been connecting with your neighbors? We always need to be sensitive to those who are grieving, but if it seems appropriate, ask a neighbor about their loved ones who have died.
They may be touched by your inquiry. You may hear some fascinating stories and learn not only about their loved one but about them too. If you are looking for a great opportunity to share the Gospel with your neighbors, this could become a great conversation starter and could especially be a way for you to become closer to them.
- Watch a movie
There are many great war movies you could watch. One of my favorites is “Sargent York” with Gary Cooper. It’s a fascinating true story about a pacifist from the hills of Tennessee who ends up capturing a German squad by himself during World War I.
Another movie that I have not seen but has my curiosity is “1917.” I’ve been wanting to see it but have not been able.
Movies can be an entertaining way to help you appreciate those who died for our freedoms.
- Offer a prayer
Let God know how you appreciate Memorial Day. Here’s a prayer I found on beliefnet.com by Mary Fairchild.
“As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of Your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection. We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray your peace, provision, and strength will fill their lives. May the members of our armed forces be supplied with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord’s mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support. In the name of Jesus. Amen.”