Sharon Schweitzer (http://www.protocolww.com/), an international etiquette expert, author, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, has tips for both Memorial Day Weekend and also the kick-off to the Summer:
Sharon’s tips for recognizing the true meaning behind Memorial Day:
Remember the Roots
Memorial Day’s predecessor, ‘Decoration Day,’ was honored by the decoration of Arlington graves with a flag, flower or candle. It was also honored by wearing a red poppy, the idea and work of Ms. Moina Belle Michael. Poppies, candles and flags are commonly displayed in communities across the country at barbecues and pool parties. Why not yours?
Celebrate the Present by Inviting Military or Veterans
Honor Memorial Day in a way that resonates with your tribe. Invite veterans or military to your event – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Reserve time to play Taps and have a moment of silence with your guests. Support a local military parade. Write letters to veterans with your children. Volunteer at your local VA. Provide red poppy party favors to honor the day.
National Moment of Remembrance
The National Moment of Remembrance was created by President William Clinton to observe a full minute of silence at 3:00 pm (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all. Whether you listen to taps, have a moment of silence, visit a graveyard, museum, or monument, take the time to salute those who gave their all.
Visit a Museum or Monument
Memorial Day is the perfect time to look into special events at a local museum or monument honoring those who have defended our country. For example, Washington D.C. is home to the country’s largest parade on this weekend. Arlington National Cemetery provides roses for visitors to place on graves as they pay their respects. Local museums may have extended hours.
Spread the Word
Now that you have acknowledged the roots of the holiday, share this with friends and family. Thank a veteran or servicemember today. Post on social media, create an environment that celebrates in an authentic way and educates those around you on the true meaning of the last Monday in May.
Above all this Memorial Day, strive to be grateful for our freedom and loved ones. Many have served for our freedom and expressing gratitude this Memorial Day weekend honors them and their sacrifices.
Sharon’s Summer Kickoff Get-Together Tips:
Something for everyone
Include options for every guest, including those with special dietary needs, and kiddos who are picky eaters, so that no one’s celebrating on an empty stomach. Fruit and vegetable platters, gluten-free buns, grilled veggies for vegetarians, and dairy-free treats are all good options for those accommodating special dietary needs. Avoid summer dehydration with a selection of beverages such as iced tea, sugar-free lemonade for those who can’t drink soda, juice boxes for the kiddos, and plenty of water.
Ask Guests to Chip In
If you’re organizing a large gathering and want to keep costs down, co-organizers can bring one item to share, such as hamburger buns, water bottles, fresh fruit, or ice cream sandwiches. With everyone contributing to the menu, you aren’t left with a hefty grocery receipt and can focus on organizing activities and enjoying the day.
Dessert of the Day
Save the red, white, and blue for the 4th of July and instead go bold with red poppy-themed desserts, such as poppy cupcakes or lemon poppyseed cake. Many bakeries prepare special Memorial Day treats, so consider a special order of cupcakes or decorated cookies.
Fun in the Sun
While the adults gather around the barbecue or lounge poolside, the kids are ready to play! Set up an activity area with safe toys such as water soakers, and water balloons to stay cool. For the kids who enjoy sports, have a basket of soccer balls, jump ropes, and basket balls handy.