Get Ready To Celebrate Veterans Day

This weekend, the United States will celebrate its 99th Veterans Day. President Woodrow Wilson initiated the tradition on the first anniversary of the end of The Great War (as World War I was known at the time), naming Nov. 11 Armistice Day. It was marked by a feeling of “solemn pride” for the military’s heroism, according to Newsweek, and was to be celebrated with parades and two minutes of reflection. Armistice Day became a legal holiday in 1938, and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to recognize those who served in World War II and the Korean War.

Grill Like a Pro for Memorial Day

Everyone loves a cookout, but not everyone knows their way around a grill. For the best results, follow a few simple pro tips. If using charcoal, skip the lighter fluid and instead start your coals using a chimney, Country Living says. Keep the grill lid down whenever possible to seal in heat and moisture, and create zones of high and medium heat on the grill surface. Try a dry rub or marinade on meats, and start with a clean, greased grate. And finally, don’t poke meat constantly to check for doneness; either invest in a digital thermometer or take the meat off the heat early — you can always put it back on if it’s still too rare.

Make a Dish to Pass for Memorial Day

Have you been invited to a Memorial Day cookout and need a dish to pass? Food & Wine has 10 suggestions for elevated, crowd-pleasing sides that travel well. Watermelon salad with mint and feta, green bean slaw and Thai cucumber salad offer refreshing light bites for the year’s first hot days, while apple pie bars and walnut brownies will round out the cookout. If you prefer to indulge with traditional comfort classics, make a potato salad or deviled eggs, but be safe — don’t leave those dishes to bake in the sun and risk a case of food poisoning.

Honoring Veterans on Memorial Day

Memorial Day was established to honor the nation’s fallen soldiers, but has expanded over the years to include all veterans of the armed forces. To honor their service, attend a parade, lay some flowers and a miniature flag at a local gravesite, or invite a living veteran to your cookout; you can also probably find a veteran charity picnic in the area and lend your support. And when flying the flag, keep it at half-staff in remembrance until noon, says, then raise it to full-staff at noon to symbolize the ongoing fight for freedom.

Kids Can Help Celebrate Veterans Day

Veterans Day is Saturday, Nov. 11, and schoolchildren can honor veterans as they learn through a variety of activities, says Kids Thank a Veteran. Ask kids to write a letter to a veteran of Vietnam or another conflict, or invite a veteran to speak about their service at a school or event. Assemble a care package for a current service member, or plan a field trip to a VA nursing home or hospital, the site suggests; active troops and aging veterans alike will appreciate the consideration.