Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom. To mark the holiday, and the unofficial start to summer, families and friends will gather for parties, barbecues and other get-togethers. Some of you, however, will head into the office like any other day. Although you will be punching the clock, there are ways to make the most of Memorial Day while at work:
Get out the grill
Nothing says summer like burgers and brats on the grill. So, instead of a normal brown bag lunch on Memorial Day, invite your co-workers to each bring a dish to pass and all pitch in for some hamburger patties to throw on the grill. There will probably be a grill master in your office who will be more than happy to do the fire-cooking for you. To make things even more fun, you can hand out awards to the person who brings the most creative dish, or even the healthiest. Here are some other great recipes for Memorial Day:
Decorate your space
You don’t need to keep your Americana décor tucked away for the 4th of July… adding some red, white and blue to the office space around you will remind everyone what Memorial Day is all about. Create a festive table setting in your break room, or bring in some flowers to help add some patriotism to your workspace. You can find some more easy decorating ideas here:
P.S. Don’t forget that you can add a little pizzazz to your attire that day too!
Get involved in events
Even if you have to report to the office, maybe your boss will allow you to take a few hours away from work to do some team building exercises in honor of Memorial Day. You could attend your local holiday parade, Memorial Day celebration, or take part in a Memorial Day run. A quick internet search should provide you with a list of events going on in your community and there are often listings provided by your local newspaper or television stations. If these types of activities aren’t possible, maybe if your boss is really in a festive mood you can all take an extended lunch to see a Memorial Day blockbuster at the theater. It doesn’t hurt to ask, right?
Honor the fallen
Did you know that Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day? In May of 1862, General John A. Logan, the leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month on which the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country would be strewn with flowers or other decorations. That’s why on Memorial Day you see cemeteries lined with flags and flowers honoring our fallen. Why not get your office involved in this tradition and head to a local cemetery where you can place flags or flowers on gravestones and take some time to learn about our fallen heroes.
Take time to thank those for whom Memorial Day was created; without their sacrifices we wouldn’t be where we are today.
- Write a letter to a member of our military.
- Send a care package to a service member; this can include food, toiletries, books and cards. There are several organizations, like Operation Gratitude, who can provide you with information regarding shipping care packages. You’ll just want to do a little research to make sure the organization you choose is credible. For a great list of what servicemen and women are looking for, check out this site:
- Collect donations from your co-workers and donate to a charitable organization or to your local VFW.
- Simply give thanks to a veteran or service member, buy them a cup of coffee, or treat them to their next meal.
There are many other things you can do on Memorial Day too; no matter what you choose, have fun, be safe, and take time to remember what the day is all about!