6 Memorial Day Ideas for Work: Ways to Celebrate & Honor

Memorial Day has a different meaning for everyone. Oftentimes, people use this day as a celebration for the arrival of summer. Cookouts, family reunions, and a 3-day-weekend are all a blast, but they can take away the importance of what the day truly signifies. While you celebrate good food and loved ones, don’t forget to honor and celebrate the brave men and women who have died fighting for our country.

Memorial Day is also an opportunity for companies to foster a sense of unity, gratitude, and teamwork among their employees. In this blog, we will share some of our favorite Memorial Day ideas for work that are fun and engaging for all. But first, a little more about Memorial Day.

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

Memorial Day, formerly known as Declaration Day, was declared by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. In his General Order No. 11 he states:

 “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

Wondering how to celebrate Memorial Day at work? Check these out:

This Year, Celebrate with These 5 Memorial Day Ideas for Work:

1) Attend A Parade.

Many towns have parades on Memorial Day and some events even conclude with a memorial service. So, take some time out from prepping for BBQs or relaxing with friends and family and take advantage of your town’s Memorial Day Celebration. Invite your team to your towns parade, and if you don’t have one continue reading for more Memorial Day work activities.

2) Have an Outdoor Party

One of the most popular Memorial Day ideas for work that teams love time and time again is as simple as taking advantage of the nice weather and organizing an outdoor activity. Plan a friendly sports tournament, organize a potluck or team scavenger hunt, or even participate in an event for charity. Here are a few of our most popular Memorial Day Ideas for Work

Go Give: Charity Challenge

Embark on an amazing journey of giving with Go Give, where teams complete GPS-triggered charity challenges to positively impact the community. Teams will emerge from the experience with strengthened bonds, cherished memories, a renewed sense of camaraderie, and fun memories that will last a lifetime.

5 ideas for Memorial Day work celebrations.

Cooking for a Cause

Cooking for a Cause is a culinary team building activity is built around preparing and enjoying a meal with the rest of your team. But you also help your community in a meaningful way by creating welcome donations for a local food bank.

Team Chili Cook-off

This fiery team building favorite combines creativity, resourcefulness, and skill.  In the Team Chili Cook-off, each group starts with chili basics like meat and tomatoes. But collecting other ingredients means bartering while completing fun challenges.

Outrageous Games

From opening ceremony to closing awards presentation, Outrageous Games is the perfect non-athletic entertainment for your company picnic, employee meeting or annual team building outing. Competition has never been more fun.

Outrageous Games Memorial Day celebration.

3) Buy A Poppy.

During the days leading up to Memorial Day, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars take donations for poppies. The poppy’s significance to Memorial Day is the result of the John McCrae World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” in which he mentions how these red flowers grew from the soil on top of soldiers’ graves in the Flanders region of Belgium.

They’ve been the Notional American Legion’s official symbol of remembrance since 1920, and disabled and needy veterans in VA hospitals have been assembling Buddy Poppies since 1924. Purchase one, and on top of honoring Memorial Day, your donation will assist in maintaining state and national rehabilitation and service programs for veterans.


Photo Credit: army.gov.au

4) Decorate with Flags.

For this year’s Memorial Day celebration break out the red, white, and blue! Over many decades it has been a tradition to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flags on Memorial Day. So why not bring that tradition home and decorate your house and lawn with the stars and stripes! Another tradition is to fly the flag at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. So, if you have a flagpole, consider joining the tradition this year.

5) Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance.

In an effort to restore and honor Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be, the National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day to pause in an act of national unity (duration: one minute). The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the hour when most Americans enjoy their free time, which symbolizes their freedom, on the national holiday.

6) Thank A Veteran.

While Memorial Day is a time for remembering and honoring our fallen soldiers, it’s also a wonderful occasion to thank those soldiers, past and present, who are right here in our midst today! Thank them for all they have done to protect our country and our freedom. 

Don’t know a veteran or want to do more? You can write a letter to a veteran or soldier! Check out: OperationGratitude.com for more information about writing letters or sending care packages to soldiers currently deployed.

In addition to all these activities, we do of course suggest you attend a cookout or two. Just keep in mind that this day holds a lot more meaning than just hanging out and having a really delicious burger off the grill. However you decide to spend your Memorial Day weekend, don’t forget to take a moment and be grateful for the people who have fought hard, and are currently fighting, for our beautiful country.

If you’re looking for more Memorial Day celebration ideas for work with your team, check out our Operation Military Care program. You’ll develop team skills while assembling care packages for men and women who are serving our country. What better activity for your next team building than giving back? It’s a rewarding program that everyone benefits from!


Molly Chronister

Team Contributor


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