Establish New Traditions for Memorial Day

This weekend America will celebrate the heroes we have lost during combat over the many years of our nation’s history. It is so important for us to remember these people every day, but a holiday in their honor is the very least we can do. They fought to give us all the opportunities that we have come to know today. They fought to make our country a place where everyone can dream big and have the capabilities to accomplish their goals. In their honor, here’s how I plan to celebrate…

Image via

One of the most widely observed traditions of Memorial Day is to decorate the graves of soldiers. A simple flag is statement enough, but if there’s someone you knew well, customizing his or her decoration might feel appropriate. Although this red, white, and blue cowboy boot bouquet was intended to be a centerpiece, I really love the idea of unconventional floral arrangements to brighten up a dreary place. Delivering a patriotic preparation such as this one is much more personalized than a plain vase and still doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The boot pictured above, shared on Goodwill Industries of Kyowva’s Pinterest (Huntington, WV), was actually found in the kids’ section of Goodwill. You wouldn’t want to do this for every soldier in the cemetery, but for someone very special who had good humor and a love of all things country, this might be just right.

Image via

When it comes to a Memorial Day ensemble, I consider two things. First and foremost, the winning outfit should be somewhat formal to show respect for the people who lost their lives fighting for our country. This means that a collar, blazer, heels, or other elements that truly dress up an outfit are a must. Secondly, I want a Memorial Day outfit to be fun. As the unofficial start to summer, it still somehow needs to be relaxed and free. Formal and relaxed at the same time? I ask a lot from my clothing, I know. But the fashionista behind the blog Thrifting Huntsville satisfied exactly those requirements when she pulled together this gorgeous look from her Goodwill finds. I love how it is vaguely reminiscent of the American flag, but won’t seem like white noise amongst all the other star spangled banners that will be on display, so, in my mind, it is perfect for Memorial Day.

Image via 

(Coupon for North Haven, CT Area stores only)

If you’re looking for something to do after you’ve paid your respects and enjoyed your local parade, you should definitely find out what the Goodwill stores in your area are doing to celebrate. I know that Easter Seals Goodwill Industries (North Haven, CT) in Connecticut will be offering 50% off of nearly everything in their stores so you probably don’t want to miss out. Half off of already amazing prices means that great deals will be even better. But it’s just for one day, so make sure you scurry!

As I mentioned before, the heroes we remember this weekend during our Memorial Day celebrations gave their lives so the American people can continue to live freely and follow their dreams. Those are people like you and me and the many who have participated in Goodwill’s career services and gone on to work with competitive employers including the Internal Revenue Service, General Electric, General Motors, SE Johnson, Whirlpool, and, yes, even the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. So on Monday as I think of the people I know who served and the stories they’ve relayed of brothers lost overseas, I will also think of the people they were fighting for.