Most years, Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to summer. Americans salute and honor the memory of our military heroes with grand parades, lively family picnics and crowded barbecues.
But, this year, everything is different. Even as the country moves forward with the reopening process, people continue to practice caution and avoid unnecessary contact with others. Some states and counties are still under lock down, and many state and local governments continue to mandate mask-wearing and social distancing, which severely limits in-person socializing. Also, many annual Memorial Day events have been canceled around the country.
Don’t let any of that put a damper on your Memorial Day plans, though. While you may not be able to celebrate the way you usually do, you can still commemorate the day dedicated to our fallen military heroes without compromising your health and safety.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Create your own parade
The town’s yearly Memorial Day parade may have been canceled, but you can get together with your neighbors and salute our heroes, COVID-19 style. Arrange a car parade for the neighborhood and have everyone decorate their vehicles with patriotic signs and banners in honor of the day.
Watch the National Memorial Day Concert from home
You don’t have to head out to Washington, D.C. this year to watch the National Memorial Day Concert. PBS will be broadcasting the annual concert on Sunday, May 24, at 8 p.m. As always, the concert will feature performances and tributes filmed from around the country to honor our servicepeople who gave their all.
Celebrate the start of summer in the glorious outdoors. Break out the bike, take a fishing trip, lace up your hiking boots or enjoy a nature walk with your family.
Visit George Washington’s Virginia estate
Why not treat the entire family to a fascinating history lesson this Memorial Day? Mount Vernon might currently be closed to the public, but you can now enjoy a virtual 360-degree tour of the estate on its website.
Run in a virtual race
Live races are still prohibited in much of the country, but you can compete in a virtual race this Memorial Day. Check out Racehawk.com for a list of virtual races you can join this Memorial Day weekend.
Pay a virtual visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The memorial, based in Arlington, Va., will be hosting its annual Memorial Day Ceremony via webcast this year. The event will run from 1-2 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, May 25, and will honor those who served in the U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War.
Your Turn: How are you celebrating Memorial Day this year? Tell us about it in the comments.