Most people look forward to Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer and an opportunity to get away, attend a cookout, or catch up with friends and family. While we also appreciate the chance to unwind a bit over the long weekend, it is important to remember the significance of Memorial Day, a holiday that originated in the years following the Civil War. Memorial Day is a day to honor and the men and women who have died while fighting in the U.S. military.
Many of our residents have served in the armed forces and know firsthand the sacrifice that is required to protect our country. And while not all of our residents spent time in the military, many of them have or had spouses, siblings, and parents that died while fighting.
It is no surprise then that our communities make a very concerted effort to celebrate Memorial Day in a way that honors and respects the fallen:
- Most years, we hold a Memorial Day ceremony and invite local veterans or soldiers to lead us in a flag-raising or flag-folding, speeches, and singing of patriotic songs.
- Some communities will give residents small American flags and hold a ceremony during which veterans living in the community are publicly recognized.
- A barbecue with patriotic decor is usually held and residents and families can share their experiences and memories.
While we were limited in our ability to gather in 2020 due to COVID-19, our communities still found ways to recognize the importance of the holiday:
- Yellow ribbons were tied around trees to honor fallen soldiers.
- In some communities, patriotic concerts were held outdoors so that residents could practice social distancing while enjoying typical barbecue food and refreshments.
- Flag raising ceremonies and the playing of “Taps” was also held outdoors to allow for proper space between residents.
- Moments of silence were observed in many communities.
- Residents were also encouraged to wear patriotic clothing, and veterans donned their authentic military hats.
While we’re currently living in a time of uncertainty, we understand the importance of continuing with traditions that provide us with a sense of normalcy. We hope your Memorial Day weekend was relaxing and that you took a moment to remember those who fought for our great country.