This Monday is Memorial Day – a federal holiday that remembers and honors the men and women who lost their lives while serving our country in the United States military.

Lots of people observe the holiday by visiting veteran cemeteries or memorials, attending a Memorial Day parade, flying flags, and by hosting barbecues and picnics with family and friends. But if you don’t personally know someone who served in the military, it can be hard to identify with the deeper meaning behind the holiday.

To help make some connections, check out the 7 ideas below for how to honor our country’s troops – five from our friends at DoSomething.org (an awesome service site for teens), and two others from us.

From Repair the World

  • Hold a conversation with friends or family about military service. Find out what the Torah thinks about it over at the On One Foot Jewish text database.
  • Read a book about the military or one of the wars our country fought in (check out these to start) and tap into the legacy and history behind Memorial Day.

From DoSomething.org (find more ideas for service here.)

  • Give or plant poppies for a military family. Poppies are the flowers of remembrance for soldiers. Show your respect by gifting the flowers or leaving them on the grave of a soldier.
  • Play a military song. Gather everyone at the BBQ and play these memorial songs on your trumpet, guitar, piano, or harmonica. We recommend the military classic Taps.
  • Host a moment of silence. 3pm local time wherever you are is designated the National Moment of Remembrance.
  • Fly a POW/MIA flag at half mast. This flag specifically recognizes those who are Prisoners of War or Missing in Action.
  • Add a fallen hero to the registry. Type in your honorable tribute to a soldier line at The National Gold Star Family Registry.

How are you celebrating Memorial Day? Let us know by tweeting @repairtheworld, or in the comments below.