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Meaningful Memorial Day Traditions

May 30, 2016

Memorial Day was once only a day of remembering those who have fallen serving our country. Most people now view this day as a day of hosting the big family/friend BBQ and having fun with loved ones. We must not forget this day was once called Decoration Day. This was the day that people would put flowers on the graves of loved ones. After WWII it was renamed Memorial Day to remember all of the fallen soldiers. Don’t get too busy planning the big get-together that you forget what this day is all about. Here are some fun festive activities you can do before you celebrate with your friends and family.

Visit A Veterans Home

After the Civil War the U.S. found many veterans that were unable to take care of themselves and some were unable to go back to work. They created veterans' homes as places for veterans to go when they had nowhere else.  So this Memorial Day you can brighten a veteran’s day by spending time talking or doing something they love. You could also just stop by and drop off some cookies or some other type of goodies, to show them people are still thinking of them. Most of all, thank them for their service and all that they have done.


Going to a local Memorial Day Parade is fun, easy and something to do for all ages. Local veterans will love to see you and your family’s support at the local event.

Visit A Local Veterans Cemetery

Some veterans cemeteries are kept up by family members and fellow veterans, but some have no family left and need some tending to. You can bring flowers to the local cemetery and lay them down at some graves that you can tell haven’t been visited in some time. This will help bring some beauty back to a place that is otherwise somber.


Go to a local Memorial Day concert that is benefiting local veterans or veteran services in the area. These are usually put on at local parks on Memorial Day weekend.

Buy A Red Poppy

The “Budd Poppy” is the symbol of Memorial Day because of the poem "In Flanders Fields," which talks about red poppies that bloomed across some of the worst battle fields in the world. The dark red of the poppy made it look like all the blood that was shed across the fields during battle. From this poem, several different influential people started to sell poppies to benefit veterans and fallen soldiers. Eventually they started to make smaller fake poppies that veterans assembled and sold to raise money for programs. The red poppy is the official flower of remembrance.

Donate Your Car On Memorial Day

As you are remembering loved ones, laughing at memories, and celebrating your freedom this Memorial Day, consider donating a vehicle to Wheels For Wishes in honor of a child in your community who is battling a critical illness. Simply call 1-855-278-9474 or fill out an online vehicle donation form.

The proceeds from your donations go to children’s charities in your area, which help provide a better life for kids. Find more information about the charity that benefits children in your area using our chapter locator.

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CDF also runs the following programs:
Wheels for Wishes benefiting Make-A-Wish®, Wheels for Wishes & Wellness benefiting local children's hospitals and charities, Vehicles for Veterans benefiting disabled veterans, and Animal Car Donation benefiting animal rescue organizations.

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CDF's mission is to help these benefitting charities fulfill their missions with proceeds from CDF's car donation programs. CDF and all benefitting charities are separate and unaffiliated 501c organizations.
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