This Monday, May 29th, is Memorial Day, a time to celebrate and remember all of those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. There are many ways you and your loved one can honor those men and women who died fighting for your country as well as celebrate the weekend that many Americans consider the unofficial start of summer.
Did you know that the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae was what inspired the tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day to honor fallen soldiers? In North Carolina, red poppies are grown for miles along highways in preparation for Memorial Day. Maybe a great kick-off for the weekend would be surprising your partner with a bouquet of flowers that include some poppies!
A few towns claim to be the originator of Memorial Day, but the official birthplace is the small upstate New York town of Waterloo. Every year the town has a weekend full of events and exhibits to celebrate the holiday, including history tours, parades, and a car show. If you and your partner love history and want to take a road trip, consider visiting this historic town!
It’s not just Waterloo that holds a parade. Many towns have their own Memorial Day parade. Some parades conclude with a memorial service or speeches from veterans. Attending a parade is a great date, especially if you have children because you get to witness the excitement and joy they get from watching the parade and waving to the people walking in the parade.
Memorial Day is also a good excuse to go shopping as a couple to get outfits for the weekend. Even if shopping with your partner is something you usually dread, you may have fun picking out red, white, and blue outfits for each other.
Many people plan barbecues or picnics for the long weekend. You can put a romantic twist on this by surprising your loved one with a picnic somewhere scenic. Pack all their favorite snacks and maybe a bottle of their favorite wine. Don’t forget to bring a comfy blanket for the two of you to sit on! For added fun, you may want to consider choosing a picnic location that includes fireworks as a part of the Memorial Day festivities.
Memorial Day weekend is also a popular weekend for outdoor concerts. You’d be surprised to find out that many of these concerts are actually free! For over 130 years the different branches of military have performed free concerts on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, something to check out if you’re in the area. Research local free concerts in your area for the weekend!
Picnics, barbecues, fireworks, and concerts are all exciting ways to kick off the beginning of summer. While you celebrate activities this weekend, make sure you also take time to honor the soldiers who gave us the freedom to do so.
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