You found our list of virtual Memorial Day ideas.
Memorial Day is a US holiday that pays tribute to fallen soldiers. This holiday is on the last Monday in May. Many businesses and schools close for the occasion, though some remain open and hold special ceremonies. Virtual memorial day ideas are ways to recognize the holiday online with students, coworkers, or family members.
This article includes:
- virtual Memorial Day ideas for work
- online Memorial Day activities for schools
- remote Memorial Day activities for families
- virtual Memorial Day ceremonies
Here is the list.
List of virtual Memorial Day ideas
From learning activities to online ceremonies, here are some ways to observe Memorial Day remotely.
1. Word Jumbles
Word Jumbles are brain teasers that challenge players to unscramble mixed up letters to form words.
You could either give unlimited time for the activity, or turn the game into a race challenging players to solve as many words as possible in 60 seconds. Participants can answer individually via a Google Form or Doc, or type answers into the chat with the first player to guess each answer winning a point.
We made a template you can use for your game.
Word Jumbles are a common game for children, but adults enjoy the challenge too!
2. Word Search
Word Searches are one of the best online Memorial Day activities for schools. These puzzles challenge students to find words in jumbles of letters. To play these games while distance learning, use the screen share function to display the worksheet. Then, turn the annotation feature on so that kids can circle the words as they spot them.
Word searches can serve as a warmup for virtual meetings as well.
We made a template you can use.
Check out our full list of word games.
3. Crossword Puzzle
Crossword puzzles are games that involve solving clues and fitting words into boxes. To solve crossword puzzles via Zoom, display the game board, and permit players to add text with the annotating feature. Or, one player could act as the recorder, while the others suggest words.
We made a Memorial Day crossword puzzle you can use for online lessons, team bonding, or game nights.
Check out more brain teasers for teams.
4. Armed Forces Trivia
Armed Forces trivia is one of the best virtual Memorial Day ideas for work. Since many offices close for the holiday, business tends to be slow for many industries, leaving time for team building.
To honor the spirit of the holiday, play trivia that pays tribute to the troops. Simply split the groups into teams and compete to answer questions. You can either ask players to answer in the chat or to submit a form. Or, you could create a trivia quiz on Kahoot.
Here are a few starter questions:
1. How many US presidents have served in the military?
2. What is the Latin motto of the United States Army Special Forces?
A. De oppresso liber (which translates loosely to “freedom from oppression.”)
3. What is the name of the fight song of the US Navy? (Bonus point if you get the correct spelling.)
A. Anchors Aweigh
4. What year was the US Space Force founded as an independent entity?
Read more tips about playing trivia virtually.
5. Moment of Silence
Many Memorial Day ceremonies include a moment of silence to honor fallen veterans. You and your crew can still observe this tradition even if you are not in the same physical space.
This National Moment of Remembrance typically occurs at 3PM local time. We recommend scheduling a calendar event with the meeting URL, then also posting the link into a company-wide chat a few moments beforehand. Attendees will join the event and observe the minute of silence. While muting microphones makes it easy to be quiet on Zoom, we advise keeping mics unmuted for authenticity.
You can share a few words of gratitude for soldiers before or after the hush. Otherwise, conversation should be at a minimum. Be sure to respect the solemn nature of the event, and save company announcements or cowork banter for another time.
6. Paper Poppy Crafts
Poppies are a symbol of fallen soldiers, largely due to the poem “In Flanders Field.” Memorial Day observers often wear poppies or print the flower on event materials as recognition to troops who sacrificed themselves for the safety of the country.
One way to keep in the spirit of the holiday is to craft paper poppies. To hold this virtual art lesson, first send participants supplies or a list of materials. Then, gather together via video meeting software and complete each step of the project together. You can make the activity more interactive by encouraging crafters to show off their progress, compliment each other, and ask questions throughout the lesson. At the end of the session, crafters could either keep their projects, or give the flowers away.
For more artistic inspiration, check out our list of craft classes online.
One meaningful way to honor soldiers’ sacrifices on Memorial Day is to dedicate a few hours of your time to help the troops.
There are many ways to volunteer remotely, such as:
- Write letters to soldiers
- Send care packages to troops overseas
- Spend time with deployed soldiers’ families on Zoom
- Participate in a virtual a run or walk for Veterans’ charities
- Educate yourself about Veterans’ issues
- Train as a crisis line respondant
- Career coach a soldier transitioning to civilian life
- Help a Veterans’ charity by providing professional services like writing, website development, or administrative support
The philanthropy Soldier’s Angels offers many low-skill virtual volunteering opportunities that make it simple to support troops and military families from home.
Check out our full list of online volunteering options.
8. Charity Donations
One of the most meaningful virtual Memorial Day ideas for work is to make a donation to an organisation that helps military and military families.
Here are some philanthropy suggestions:
- Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation
- The Memorial Day Foundation
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Homes for Our Troops
- Fisher House Foundation
- Semper Fi & America’s Fund
- DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Charitable Service Trust
There are many similar charities, including locally-based nonprofits. Asking employees for suggestions or preferences is one way to decide which organization to donate to.
You could either make a sizable company donation to a single charity, or agree to match employee contributions up to a certain amount. If you have the time and resources, then you could even orchestrate an online donation drive or charity event. Read up on our list of remote fundraiser ideas for inspiration.
9. National Monument Tours
There are many national monuments and memorials built to honor fallen soldiers. When you cannot visit these sites in person, you and your group can tour them virtually.
Here is a list of online tours for war memorials:
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Korean War Memorial
- WW2 Memorial
- Arlington National Cemetery and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- Google Arts & Culture US War Memorials
- African American Civil War Memorial
- The Women In Military Service For America Memorial
- The American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial
These digital tours can serve as resources for history and civics lessons. However, visiting the memorials virtually is also a way for citizens to acknowledge the cost of freedom and pay homage to the troops.
Check out our full list of virtual museum and park tours.
10. Gallery of Flags
Flying flags is one of the most common ways to celebrate Memorial Day. Faraway friends and family, classmates, and coworkers cannot physically see each other’s flags waving. To promote a sense of camaraderie throughout the online community, make a shared photo album and invite the group to upload photos of their Memorial Day flags to it. Participants can react to each other’s pictures with likes and comments, and feel a sense of closeness by viewing the photos.
11. Patriotic Playlists
Patriotic playlists are one way to set the tone of the holiday. During your online Memorial Day ceremony, study time, or workday, you can listen to military-themed music, such as marches or odes to America. Here is a Spotify Military Band playlist and a patriotic song collection. Or, here is instrumental patriotic background music on YouTube. You can also tune into a livestream of a Memorial Day concert.
12. Veteran Check-Ins
One of the most meaningful Virtual Memorial Day ideas is to check in on a veteran. Although the purpose of Memorial Day is mostly to acknowledge soldiers who died in duty, it is important to also reach out to living veterans. Former military members may be grieving deceased teammates and friends. Also, loss of life is not the only cost of combat. Many surviving veterans suffer physical and psychological damages, and it is important to honor these sacrifices as well.
It is a good idea to call up the veterans or veteran families in your life to chat and check in. If there are no veterans in your immediate circle, then you can reach out to a local veteran organization and volunteer to be matched with a former service member for a chat. Be mindful that veterans might not want to talk about their time in the service. However, taking the time to connect and say hello, even if only via text or instant message, can mean a great deal.
13. Online Military Movie Night
Online movie nights are one of the best remote Memorial Day activities for families. Distanced friends and relatives can watch movies together during video calls. Simply gather on the virtual meeting platform of your choice, then use an app like Watch2Gether to sync video.
Here are some movie suggestions for Memorial Day:
- Saving Private Ryan
- American Sniper
- The Hurt Locker
- The Longest Day
- Courage Under Fire
- The Best Years of Our Lives
- The War
When choosing your movie, keep the age of the audience in mind. If you are including young children in the event, then it is best to choose a PG or PG-13 movie over a film with a lot of violence or an R rating.
We recommend making your movie night more interactive by using the chat during the screening and discussing the film together afterwards.
For more virtual family gatherings, check out our list of online social event ideas.
14. Warrior Workouts
You can incorporate Memorial Day activities into your daily routine, for example, your fitness regimen. Planning a military-themed workout is one easy way to heighten your awareness of the holiday. First, choose a military-themed exercise plan. For instance, you can try a physical training plan, or perform a Hero Crossfit Workout of the Day, exercises designed to honor fallen servicemen and servicewomen.
To turn the workout into a group activity, invite friends or coworkers to exercise with you on Zoom, or encourage participants to post to a group chat upon completing the workout.
For more fitness activities, check out our guide to team workouts.
15. Red, White, and Blue Dress Code
Folks often observe patriotic holidays such as the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, or Memorial Day by dressing in the colors of the US flag. Adopting a red, white and blue dress code is one of easiest ways to observe Memorial Day online. Simply encourage Zoom meeting attendees to wear red, white, or blue clothing to the call. You could even commemorate the moment by taking a photo using the screen capture command.
16. Research a Service Member
Folks often mourn and pay respects to the collective loss of troops. While it is important to acknowledge the scale of military casualties, it is also important to remember that each of these lives lost belonged to an individual. One of the most significant virtual Memorial Day ideas is to research a service member. You could either learn about a relative, or choose a stranger to study. This Family Search wiki contains a directory of online military records, and is a good starting place for the activity. You could either allow participants to choose their own soldier to learn about, or assign one. Then, ask each group member to show a picture and share a couple of facts about the subject.
For more teachable moments, check out our guide to online classroom activities.
17. Virtual Vigil
One way to honor the lives lost in war is to host a virtual vigil. To hold the event, schedule a time in the evening to meet via video call.
Here are a few ideas:
- Play Taps
- Light candles
- Lay flowers outside
- Raise or lower flags together
- Take a moment of silence
- Collect veteran charity donations
- Show a photo montage of the deceased
- Read excerpts from war literature and poetry
- Prepare and recite a speech
Virtual vigils are one of the most meaningful virtual Memorial Day ceremonies, as these events pay direct respect to the fallen and give attendees the opportunity to collectively mourn the loss.
18. Memorial Day Emails
A large percentage of students and workers are off for Memorial Day. Your group may not meet on the holiday, however you can observe the occasion by sending a special email earlier in the week. Your message can combine components such as games like word searches, history of the holiday, service member profiles, links to educational websites, and online event invitations. At the end of May, most folks’ inboxes get flooded with sale offers. Receiving non-commercial communications about the holiday is a nice change.
Memorial Day honors the sacrifices of military members, particularly the soldiers who lose lives for the sake of liberty. The somber subject matter inspires folks to gather to comfort each other and mourn collectively. For individuals who cannot attend in-person events, virtual Memorial Day activities provide a way to acknowledge the occasion and pay tribute to the troops.