Once a year on the last Monday of May, we dedicate our day to nationally honor those who have fallen serving our country. Memorial Day is a great time to reflect on the values that make the United States great and remember Americans who have died to protect those values. While we all have our differences, let's use this day to set aside those differences and come together as a community.
Here are 7 ways to celebrate memorial day with your association.
1. Neighborhood Barbecue
Nothing quite feels more American than the smell of hot dogs sizzling on the grill. Barbecues are a great way to get people together and enjoy the beginning of beautiful summer weather. If your association has a park, or large grassy common area, this would be the perfect place to set up shop with a few grills and get the whole neighborhood together to enjoy some tasty food. To help keep costs low, consider taking a potluck approach, with each member of the community providing their favorite dish or side.
2. Association Bake Sale
Memorial Day always sees the return of unique and interesting takes on baked goods, like cakes with bright, colorful berries and whipped cream to resemble the red, white, and blue of the American flag. Organizing the bake-savvy members of your community for an association-wide bake sale would be a hit! After all, who doesn't enjoy a tasty treat? Check out some ideas for delicious Memorial Day desserts.
3. Movie Night
A good movie night is a surefire way to commune large groups of people. If your association has the resources and the weather permits, an outdoor screening would prove a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of the increasingly warmer climate. There are plenty of Memorial Day themed films to choose from, such as Saving Private Ryan, Medal of Honor, and Memorial Day, just to name a few.
4. Memorial Parade
Parades are always an exciting and festive way to celebrate any occasion. Depending on the size of your community, a neighborhood parade could be a great way to honor our fallen troops this Memorial Day. Residents would have a blast decorating their vehicles to the tune of the holiday. If you have veterans in your association, consider asking them to participate, marching alongside in formation.
5. Pool Party
If your association has a community pool, a pool party is a great way to beat the heat and have a blast in the summer sun. Pool decks are easily decorated with red, white, and blue streamers. Toss a few brightly-colored beach balls into the water for some added fun... and if you're feeling extra ambitious, consider combining this event with #1 to satiate those hungry swimmers.
6. Flag Ceremony
The American flag is an unequivocal symbol of freedom and liberty. If you have residents within your community that are well-versed in performing a flag ceremony, this is a great way to honor the values that members of our armed forces died protecting. Alternatively, it could be a great opportunity for your board to learn how to perform a flag ceremony. Remember to fly any flags in your community at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day. This is customary to honor the war dead in the morning and living veterans in the afternoon.
7. Community-Wide Garage Sale
As we approach the tail-end of Spring Cleaning our homes feel noticeably tidier. Though, along the way we may have uncovered large quantities of belongings we no longer have use for. This Memorial Day organize an association-wide garage sale to bring your residents together to meet the neighbors that don't just live on either side of them. If your association doesn't have driveways and garages, such as condominiums or apartment buildings, you may want to utilize a common area or the clubhouse. Consider donating the proceeds to a charity that gives back to our brave Americans, like Homes For Our Troops or Wounded Warrior Project.