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Meal Ideas for Memorial Day

At the height of spring, with flowers in full bloom, a stronger sun, and it is time to remember. Memorial Day is held on the last Monday of May across the nation to remember the victories of fallen heroes. It’s been an American National Holiday since the Civil War to honor and remember heroes, their families and all they have done - and still do in the service of their country. So, make them proud and honor their service with your family and friends.

What is Memorial Day?

Since the Civil War (1861-1865), Americans have decorated the graves of their loved ones who passed away during battle. That’s why Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day - people laid down a wreath of flowers on the tombstones of fallen soldiers. Memorial Day had different dates in different states of the country, but in 1868 it was officially set on May 30th by Major General John Logan. The reason because that’s when flowers are in full bloom across the country. After the First and Second World Wars, the holiday passed on to celebrate all fallen soldiers in any combat the country took part in. Then in 1971, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday by Congress. The date changed too - it’s always held on the last Monday of May. In 2018, the date is the 28th of May. And since the times of the Civil War, the celebrations are the same: the president visits the Arlington National Cemetery and lays down a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns. And across the USA, from coast to coast, relatives visit their loved ones in national cemeteries - the place where most fallen soldiers lay to rest. People gather together for celebrations too, in churches and community centers for a celebratory meal. Memorial Day is a time of remembrance. It’s a time of honor.

How to Honor the Date

Families have their own ways to honor our fallen soldiers. Here are our recommendations:
  • Attend a parade: many cities hold parades with a march, music, and a moment of silence. Then, there’s usually a memorial service
  • Volunteer for a Veterans’ association: visit a local veterans’ association and help out how you can. Be a cook, take care of the cleaning, or raise funds for a memorial day event
  • Watch the National Memorial Day Concert: turn on the TV and go to the PBS channel to watch the Memorial Day concert live from Washington D.C. Save the date: May 27 at 8 p.m. ET
  • Lower your flag: if you’ve got a US flag on your lawn, lower it to half-mast until noon as a sign of respect
  • Visit fallen soldiers: if you have a loved one who fought in the army and passed away with honor, this is the day to remember. Visit their grave, pay your respects, and decorate the tombstone with flowers and an American flag.

Host an Honorary Outdoor Cooking Event

Several families across the country reunite on Memorial Day to remember. Cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, grandfathers, and sons get together to pay their respects. And when family gets together for remembrance, it’s also time to eat together and bond. So, cook up a complete meal that will leave no stomachs empty. Make them proud with these recipes:

Decorate the venue

This is a time to be patriotic. Be proud and sport the red, white, and blue in tablecloths, cutlery, banners, paper fans - and of course - the American flag. And as a sign of respect, Go to your florist and get a bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers. Why not roses, delphinium, and carnations?

Watch a movie (for the adults)

Then after lunch is served, gather the older folks around the TV to watch a movie. There are several movies about fallen heroes that fought in honor - worth every moment of screen time. So, rent out a copy or log onto your favorite streaming service to watch a movie that will make everyone proud. We recommend these:
  • American Sniper (2014, Eastwood)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979, Coppola)
  • Platoon (1986, Stone)
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998, Spielberg)
  • The Patriot (2000, Emmerich)
A movie is a great way to entertain, keep it patriotic, and remember the importance of the date.
How will you remember on Memorial Day? Tell us your plans in a comment below.