Friday, May 23, 2014

Easy & Meaningful Memorial Day Party Favor & Idea

With Memorial Day coming up I know many of us will be gathering with friends and family for barbecues and celebrating the onset of summer.    I think it is important to pause and take a  time to honor those who have fallen in service of our country and given us all the freedom we are so blessed to enjoy. 

I came up with the following; an easy, inexpensive and quick way to add extra meaning to your celebrations this coming weekend.  You can put these together in minutes!

 Small, hand held flags are for sale and available just about anywhere right now for mere pennies a piece.    These flags are about 3" x 5" and come attached to a 12" wooden dowel.  

How I made these unique was by finding some favorite quotes (I'll provide a list at the end of the post) relevant to the service and sacrifice of soldiers.  I printed them off and included interpretations and meanings of each quote. 

I cut each quote out to fit inside the flags and attached one to each of the wooden dowels simply by sliding it underneath.

Next, I rolled the quotes up inside the flags

I tied the flags with a small string.  I used some hemp which I had on hand.

You can place one at each setting, tuck into a napkin or stand inside their glass.  You could gather a lot of them together into a vase and pass it around a campfire or the bbq and let each person read the quote aloud.

These are simple and festive favors but very meaningful at the same time.

I gathered quotes from some books we have in our library and from around the web.  Here are some great examples:  

1. "Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth." -George Washington 
2. "Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead! There's none of these so lonely and poor of old, But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold." -- Rupert Brooke
3. "Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." -- Rossiter W. Raymond
4. "The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men." -- Minot J. Savage
5."A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." -- Joseph Campbell
6. "I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day.  I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.  We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did." -- Benjamin Harrison
7. "One lives in the hope of becoming a memory." -- Antonio Porchia
8. "Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours." -- Wallace Bruce
9. "The patriot's blood is the seed to freedom's tree." -- Thomas Campbell
10. "The best road to progress is freedom's road." -- John F. Kennedy
11. "The flames can not burn away the past. They only make the shadows leap higher." -- Max Payne
12. "But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye." -- Thomas Dunn English
13. "Decoration Day is the most beautiful of our national holidays.... The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms." -- Thomas Bailey Aldrich
14. "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -- Mark Twain
15. "There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires." -- Nelson Mandela
16. "The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example." -- Benjamin Disraeli
17. "Perform, then, this one act of remembrance before this Day passes - Remember there is an army of defense and advance that never dies and never surrenders, but is increasingly recruited from the eternal sources of the American spirit and from the generations of American youth." -- W.J. Cameron
18. "Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery." -- Wayne Dyer
19. "And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb, and beauty weeps the brave." -- Joseph Drake
20. "137 years later, Memorial Day remains one of America's most cherished patriotic observances. The spirit of this day has not changed - it remains a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy." -- Doc Hastings
21. "Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language?  Are they dead that yet act?  Are they dead that yet move upon society and inspire the people with nobler motives and more heroic patriotism?" -- Henry Ward Beecher
22. "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women." -- Ronald Reagan
23. "Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored." -- Daniel Webster
24. "True freedom is tolerant. It gives people the right to live and think in new ways." -- John Twelve Hawks
25. "Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life." -- Bob Marley
26. "Only the dead have seen the end of war." -- Plato

The following link provides 25 quotes along with an interpretation of each one, especially nice when you're celebrating with kids.

Have a blessed and safe Memorial Day,

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  1. You're the best! Love that accent plate. Thanks so much for the quotes. Cherry Kay

  2. Nancy, this is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing it. We aren't having a Memorial Day dinner here, but I'm adding this idea to my Patriotic Pinterest Board. Thanks!
    Beautiful stack of red, white, and blue. '-)
    Hope you and your family enjoy a lovely holiday weekend.

  3. Tears of joy for all the brave people who gave their all for our freedoms

  4. What a great idea. I love the cheery blend of plates and the gingham flatware.

  5. First, I love the idea of the quotes. I use quotes or questions a lot when I host a dinner party.

    Second, are those white plates dishes or a doily? The entire table setting is fabulous.

    1. Thank you. The plates are actually dishes, not doily's. I get these from time to time in various patterns, usually with a small central transferware medallion though I do have a set that are plain. Here is a link so you can see the ones I used here. I buy them when I come across them because the borders are so pretty and a lot of my customers use them for layering as I did.

      If you search my site under the terms relief and embossed you'll see tons more.

      Thanks again, Nancy

  6. Great idea! This would be fun for the Fourth of July as well. Thank you for sharing at The Creative Exchange!

    1. HI Amy, Yes, it would be just as good for the 4th with some other Patriotic Quotes in it!

  7. Hi Nancy
    This is so awesome and the quotes are an added touch! Thank you for linking this to Friday Favorites! This is a feature this Friday. Would love for you to link up again this week. And feel free to social media it! ha! laura

    1. Thank you for the feature! I'm flattered. I'd love to linking up again!

  8. What a super idea, Nancy!!! I have tons of those little red flags, and that would make an excellent way to provide each guest with a favor AND provide a little history/education of some sort. The little ones could get something similar with grade-appropriate language.

    Pinning it!

  9. You have my love of history Nancy! Fantastic idea!

  10. nancy I will feature this today at Home Sweet Home! Thanks!

  11. Hi! This is a terrific idea. I love these different quotes you shared. Once, I posted a quote by Thomas Jefferson at my Face Book page and some mean lady gave me a fit! Wow! I didn't think she knew him personally! LOL!
    But this flag idea is amazing. I am going to host a little tea party later this summer and I may try this idea. Tahnk you so much.


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