Five Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day in DFW

Posted on May 21, 2024

Five Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day in DFW

Many of us think of Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer. But there’s more to this national holiday than enjoying a three-day weekend of lakeside picnics, backyard grilling, and retail discounts. 

History of Remembrance

Memorial Day traces back to Decoration Day—a day set aside to honor those lost while fighting in the Civil War. Several years after the war ended, people began decorating the gravesites of fallen soldiers with wreaths and flowers. On May 30, 1868, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic expanded that tradition by establishing the first official Decoration Day. That day, over 5000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Numerous local communities continued to observe Decoration Day every year. After World War I, Decoration Day was expanded to commemorate U.S. military personnel who died in all wars. In 1971, Congress changed the name to Memorial Day and established it as a federal holiday on the last Monday of May.

Modern Observances

Today, people around the country honor the self-sacrifice of brave men and women in not only the Civil War but also World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day is observed with a ceremony in which each grave is decorated with a small American flag. Traditionally, the President or Vice President also lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

In December 2000, Congress also established the National Moment of Remembrance. This nation-wide custom encourages all Americans to pause for a full minute of silence on Memorial Day at 3 PM (local time) in honor and remembrance of those who have died in the nation's military service.

Looking for some easy and meaningful ideas to celebrate Memorial Day with loved ones?

1. Visit Veteran’s Memorial Park in Plano.

This beautiful park in north central Plano houses a war memorial, which has been the site of a sunset Memorial Day ceremony in years past. The monument at the park is still a moving tribute to the many Plano citizens who have died in proud service of our country. If you aren’t able to visit the park, you can view the names of soldiers listed on the monument here

2. Pay Respects to Those Lost in War

You and your loved ones can help to honor the memory of fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with small flags or flowers. You can do so in person at the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery, or by supporting an organization like this one that does decorating on behalf of families and loved ones.  

3. Watch the National Memorial Day Concert

For over 30 years, this annual televised event has gathered prominent veterans, celebrities, musicians, and performers from the U.S. military choirs and ensembles for an evening of remembrance. The event will stream live online and include songs, performances, documentary footage, and real-life stories tracing military conflicts in our nation’s history. The event also airs on PBS at 7 PM (CT) on Sunday, May 26. 

4. Read a children’s Memorial Day book with your family.

Curious why poppies and white tables are associated with Memorial Day? Children's books are an easy way to explore the history of Memorial Day through different perspectives. Find some colorful and engaging selections here

5. Learn about military service firsthand.

Browse through the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, a collection of personal accounts of American war veterans, to hear about the realities of war and armed service. Or, if you personally know any military veterans, take time to thank them for their service and ask them to share more about their experiences. Finally, if someone in your family has served in the military, consider preserving their oral history, photos, and written materials for the generations to come with suggestions from the American Library Association

However you chose to enjoy Memorial Day, take time to pause and remember the service and sacrifice of many on our nation's behalf.


Share This:

Recent Stories

Swipe to Discover more

Where To Celebrate Juneteenth 2024 in DFW

Jun 12, 2024

Where in DFW can you celebrate Juneteenth 2023? Use our list of events to make plans in honor of this national holiday of freedom.


5 Interesting Facts About Juneteenth

Jun 12, 2024

Juneteenth commemorates the day the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas. It's a celebration of hope and freedom for all peoples that followed years of struggle.


Reasons Why We Celebrate Father's Day

Jun 10, 2024

Every third Sunday in June, families gather together to celebrate their fathers. But surprisingly, Father’s Day began with controversy. Read on to learn the history behind this now-popular holiday.


7 Great Ideas for Inexpensive or Free Summer Fun

Jun 07, 2024

Making great memories with your family doesn't have to break the bank this summer. Look here for 7 great ideas for inexpensive or free family fun you can enjoy now!


How To Love Our LGBTQ+ Family and Friends

Jun 01, 2024

No matter what our beliefs are about same-sex attraction and relationships, there are ways we can love our LGBTQ+ family and friends well as we work to create community and intimacy within our doors.


Burnout: 13 Symptoms and Solutions

May 29, 2024

Burnout is a serious issue—but how can you tell if you've got it? Read about 13 key burnout symptoms and solutions, here.


Why and How To Set Personal Boundaries

May 28, 2024

What are boundaries, and why are they so hard to set? Learn more about this valuable part of any healthy relationship, here.


How Birds Can Teach Us To Pray

May 23, 2024

Let’s face it, prayer can be hard and frustrating. When our prayer lives feel stale or stuck, we can learn something from…birds. Read more, here.


Big Questions: Am I Good Enough?

May 22, 2024

"What's wrong with me? Why does everyone else have it together? I must not be good enough." Learn a valuable strategy for dealing with these kinds of real but untrue thoughts, here.


Five Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day in DFW

May 21, 2024

Memorial Day isn't just the unofficial start of summer. Learn more about the history behind the holiday and discover five easy and meaningful ways to celebrate Memorial Day this year.