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In the 1860s, Decoration Day was established as a time to honor soldiers who died serving our country by adorning their gravesites. Later renamed Memorial Day, it was recognized as a federal holiday in 1971.

This Memorial Day (May 25), families and local communities across the United States will honor veterans, and our communities are proud to have many residents who served and fought on behalf of our nation. 

Our communities continue to practice social distancing while engaging residents in a safe way. This includes finding creative ways to celebrate holidays and do activities so that staff and residents are physically distanced, but socially engaged.  

Here are how some Arbor Company senior living communities plan to remember fallen and living comrades, and celebrate their service:

The Arbor at BridgeMill (Canton, Ga.) will hold a Veteran Recognition Ceremony on Monday morning led by veterans that will feature a flag-raising and music. The program will be presented twice to allow for smaller groups and social distancing. In the afternoon, Kona Ice will deliver tasty treats. Staff will wear red, white and blue, and the community will be decorated with patriotic flair. 

The Solana East Cobb (Marietta, Ga.) will have a festive cart serving red, white and blue yogurt parfaits, followed by a socially distanced outdoor concert in the Memory Care and Assisted Living neighborhoods. In case of inclement weather, there will be a socially distanced Memorial Day happy hour.

Arbor Terrace Peachtree City (Peachtree City, Ga.) will begin its festivities with a decorated lunch beverage cart, and residents will dine on a cookout-style lunch. The theme for the afternoon is “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and staff will give away Atlanta Braves sunglasses and wristbands. American flags also will be given away. Residents can show off their personal baseball memorabilia for photos; play baseball trivia to win prizes; and enjoy beverages, peanuts and Cracker Jacks. 

Arbor Terrace at Crabapple (Alpharetta, Ga.) residents started preparing for Memorial Day by creating a poppy craft in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives while serving their country. Over the weekend, residents will participate in individual photo shoots with their Memorial Day Messages for their families and the dining team will treat residents to a picnic lunch on Monday. 

Arbor Terrace Hamilton Mill (Dacula, Ga.) is commemorating Memorial Day with a Missing Man table, paying tribute to the men and women who never came home. A Memorial Day Drive-Thru Parade also will be held on the holiday for loved ones to drive through the community waving flags and showing off posters in remembrance of the day.

Arbor Terrace of Johns Creek (Suwanee, Ga.) will show a one-hour tribute to veterans created by a local entertainer. Families will receive a link so that they can view it as well. In addition, there will be a backyard BBQ-themed lunch.

The Gardens at Eastside (Greenville, S.C.) will begin the day with a Stars & Stripes Workout Session facilitated by iN2L (“It’s Never 2 Late®”) user-friendly, person-centered technology, followed by Memorial Day trivia. In the afternoon, there will be a patriotic sing-along, capped off by patriotic sundaes offered on their Memorial Day travel cart.

Eden Terrace of Spartanburg (Spartanburg, S.C.) staff will wear red, white and blue on Monday, and residents will enjoy a cookout-style lunch. American flags will be placed in the Assisted Living and Evergreen memory care neighborhoods. Residents will receive a poppy for their lapels, Memorial Day-themed puzzles and copies of the poem “Freedom is Not Free” by Kelly Strong. At 3 p.m., a moment of silence will be observed as “Taps” plays.

Arbor Terrace Roseland (Roseland, N.J.) staff will distribute flyers explaining the history of Memorial Day and recognizing residents and family members of veterans who have passed away. Residents will receive Memorial Day necklaces and wristbands, and there will be patriotic music and a barbecue luncheon.

Arbor Terrace Willistown (West Chester, Pa.) will begin its celebration Monday afternoon with a Memorial Day trivia game and patriotic sing-along. Veterans will receive thank-you notes written by their fellow residents. The National Moment of Silence will be observed at a 3 p.m. ceremony at the flagpole, in addition to an explanation of the meaning of Memorial Day and an honor roll reading of the names of residents’ family members who died in battle. Residents will be seated in the front parking area, indoor lobby and bistro, and third-floor balcony in order to observe proper social distancing.

Arbor Terrace Senior Living (Lanham, Md.) is planning live outdoor entertainment with treats, and the chef will prepare a festive meal.

Arbor Terrace Shrewsbury (Tinton Falls, N.J.) will serve a special lunch, followed by patriotic parfaits in the afternoon. The refreshments cart will play patriotic music, and flag making will be the day’s arts and crafts project. Poppies, flags and “Our Memories,” a Memorial Day poem, will be distributed.

Arbor Terrace Lakeway (Lakeway, Tx.) will observe the holiday with a vehicle parade. Participants will decorate their cars with patriotic colors and posters. The Wall of Honor in the community will be updated and the community has been decorated for the occasion.

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