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Memorial Day is all about remembering & honoring the brave Americans who have fought & passed in their service to this fine country. As the quote goes, “Real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear dog tags.” As a Parent Group, this is an important holiday for you to celebrate with your school and presents a great teaching opportunity for students.
Most communities will host a Memorial Day parade and, perhaps, you are a part of that planning process. If so, or even if you are hosting your own, smaller parade for your school, here are some great pointers that we’ve gathered from successful parades around the country.
From huge celebrations in Chicago to small-town parades in New Jersey, these long-standing events offer up some important tips that will help you pull off the perfect parade!
Make History Come Alive
A key part of any Memorial Day celebration is remembering past wars, past reasons for battle, and, of course, past men and women who have fought diligently for this country. Add entertainment and a history lesson to your parade by bringing the rich history of Memorial Day to life.
Honoring Past & Present Heroes
Don’t let your Memorial Day celebration be side-tracked by focusing too much on food & activities. While yummy meals and fun games are the best part of any event, Memorial Day must be centered on honoring our past and present heroes. Below are several ideas for traditions and ceremonies to incorporate into your parade.
Focus on a Specific Group/Event
There are so many historical battles, so many sections of the armed services and so many heroic men and women that we remember on Memorial Day. Some communities choose a specific war, branch of the military or hero each year to specifically focus on. This can provide a unique teaching opportunity and to shed the light on some the of lesser known historical battles and unsung heroes.
Other great Memorial Day parade ideas include raising money for local veteran's groups. Giving back to those who've given all is an amazing opportunity, just look at some communities that host bake sales along with their parades to raise money for veteran’s groups or local American Legion Riders’ chapter, or other groups that invite attendees to a pancake breakfast at the local senior center. The cost for the cakes can go toward local initiatives for veterans and/or for funding the parade and the ceremony each year.