7 tips to honor our fallen, welcome summer Memorial Day Weekend
CRAIG — Memorial Day weekend brings Americans together for a day of reflection, as they honor those who gave their lives for the nation’s freedom. Memorial Day weekend also signals the beginning of summer vacation season with family and friends.
Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette and modern manners expert, who is the founder of Access to Culture, offers the following tips to acknowledge history and incorporate respect for the fallen in an authentic, yet contemporary recognition of Memorial Day.
Among the observances happening in Moffat County Monday will be ceremonies at 11 a.m. at Craig Cemetery, 1 p.m. at Moffat County Fairgrounds and 2 p.m. at Maybell Cemetery.
• Invite a veteran: Take the time to thank veterans, invite them to your gatherings or take them to a meal early in the day. Show your appreciation year-round by volunteering at the local VFW or VA hospital.
• National Moment of Remembrance: The National Moment of Remembrance was created by former-President Bill Clinton to observe a full minute of silence at 3 p.m. (local time everywhere) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom. Plan a pause in the festivities a few minutes before 3 p.m. so guests have time to settle down before sharing a moment of reverent silence.
• Remember the reason: Before guests dive into the dip, thank them for joining your celebration and say a few words regarding the true holiday meaning. Recognize all veterans present, and thank them for their sacrifice. While Memorial Day is a day of family fun, it’s important to remember those who gave their all.
• 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.
• Something for everyone: Include options for every guest, including those with special dietary needs, and children who are picky eaters, so no one’s celebrating on an empty stomach. Fruit and vegetable platters, gluten-free buns, grilled vegetable for vegetarians and dairy-free treats are good options for those accommodating special dietary needs. Avoid summer dehydration with iced tea or sugar-free lemonade for those who can’t drink soda, juice boxes for the kids and plenty of water.
• Red poppies: Save the red, white and blue for the Fourth of July and instead go bold. With a nod to history, serve red poppy-themed desserts, such as poppy cupcakes or lemon poppyseed cake. Many bakeries prepare Memorial Day treats, so consider decorated red poppy cookies.
• Fun in the sun: While the adults gather in the shade, the children are ready to play. Set up a safe activity area with water soakers and water balloons to stay cool. For the kids who enjoy sports, have a basket of soccer balls, jump ropes and volleyballs handy.