Memorial Day is this weekend. For many of us, it is a day off from school and work. A day for barbecues. A day to gather with family and friends. A day for parades, and 5K races, and community picnics. And the unofficial kickoff to summer.

But it is also a day to remember. Lest we forget.

It's not about being a downer. It's about showing respect. And it's the reason that we are able to have barbecues, gather with friends, and march in those parades. So if you like being able to eat what you want, live where you want, praise who you want, and say what's on your mind, then it's worth taking a few moments with the family this weekend to remember what Memorial Day is all about.

Here are some ways you can honor the men and women who gave their lives so that we could enjoy ours.

  • Visit a cemetery and put flags or flowers on the graves of men and women who served in wars.
  • Fly an American flag.
  • Visit a monument or battlefield dedicated to soldiers.
  • Participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
  • March in a Memorial Day parade.
  • Take cookies, books, or other goodies to your closest Veteran's hospital.
  • Help your kids create a card or picture to be sent overseas to a soldier.
Don't forget: It's time to remember
Before you break out the grill and jump in the pool, teach your kids the meaning of Memorial Day with these family activities.