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, Homes.com says, then raise it to full-staff at noon to symbolize the ongoing fight for freedom.

Keep Your Cookout Simple

There’s no better way to kick off the summer season than hosting a Memorial Day cookout. To make yours stress-free, keep it simple. Pick out easy main courses for the grill such as burgers, brats or chicken, and try healthy, cut-and-serve side dishes such as cucumber salad, grilled vegetables and corn. Invite your friends, offer outdoor games such as cornhole and croquet, and join in the fun. And as you celebrate the official start of summer, don’t forget to honor the nation’s veterans, many of whom gave their lives in service.

Decluttering Helps Bring Dignity

Not only do your donations to ClothingDonations.org help declutter your home, they also help fund VVA programs such as Uniforms for Final Salute, an initiative that Chapter 910 in Corpus Christi launched that ensures that homeless and indigent veterans are laid to rest in uniform and with dignity. Chapter members in the area have arranged funeral services and honor guards for more than a dozen of their brethren so far, and ClothingDonations.org has helped many thousands of people get rid of their unwanted stuff.

Ask a Veteran to Tell Their Story

Do you know a veteran or want to get to know one better? This Veterans Day, consider participating in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, which honors veterans by collecting and archiving their stories. The project welcomes recorded interviews, as well as materials such as letters, photos and diaries from veterans of all U.S. conflicts. You can collect a history easily using the project’s field kit, and once submitted, it will be uploaded to a Library of Congress database and committed to posterity.

Giving Back on Veterans Day

Hundreds of businesses nationwide donate to veterans’ charities in the run-up to Veterans Day, according to Military Benefits, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Outback Steakhouse and Regal Cinemas. But year-round, proceeds from donations of used clothing and household goods made to ClothingDonations.org help honor and benefit thousands of veterans throughout the country. Schedule a pickup today and remember to go to a local parade this weekend to honor those who have served.