Category: holiday

What is Patriot Day?

Join My Hero Crate’s Military Care Package Experts in Solemnly Acknowledging This Holiday

Most people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they learned that both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists using hijacked commercial airlines, and when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, a foiled attack that killed everyone aboard.

The news was devastating and played 24/7 for weeks as the American people reeled in shock, and New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania began clean-up efforts and the search for survivors; there weren’t many.

Unlike other tragic events like this one, we remember it all by the date: September 11, 2001.

How the Day of Mourning Came to Be

After the terrible attacks on civilians in our country, heroes assembled at the plane crash sites to try to find survivors among the wreckage, including firefighters, police officers, and members of our armed forces.

Just over a month later, on October 25, 2001, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill to make September 11 a national day of mourning. The Senate unanimously voted in favor. As a result, President George W. Bush declared the first Patriot Day in 2002.

How to Observe Patriot Day

Although Patriot Day is not a federal holiday, so schools and businesses remain open, people still take steps to observe the day of mourning. 


-Some people hold a moment of silence at the same time the jet hit the first tower of the World Trade Center: 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

-Americans are encouraged to display flags outside their homes to express their love of the country.


-Some New Yorkers spend the day quietly and without flair, especially those who experienced the aftermath or lost loved ones in the attacks.


-The United States flag is flown at half-mast throughout the world.


-Memorial events are held in honor of the 2,977 victims who perished and those who lost their lives during search and rescue efforts.


-Non-profit organizations assemble volunteer opportunities for special projects across the country.


How You Can Observe this Day

If you’re looking for a unique way to memorialize Patriot Day, consider doing small things close to home to impact the lives of those around you.

Send a thank-you letter or snack box.

You can thank your local firefighters for their everyday bravery in the face of danger as they rescue people from burning buildings. You can thank your local National Guard unit for their willingness to sacrifice their time to serve regionally and sometimes overseas. You can say thanks to the troops stationed at one of America’s many military bases. If you know of a hero from the September 11 attacks, say thank you to them, too. Receiving a note or snack box will make their day.

Do something kind for someone else.
Spend your day performing good deeds and requesting nothing in return. Gather a few extra shopping carts and put them in the cart return at the grocery store. Pick up litter in your local park. Offer to mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn for free. 

Display a flag.
Fly an American flag in your yard to display your patriotism for all to see. Be sure to follow Flag Code and be respectful as you observe the day.

Take your own moment of silence.
At 8:46 a.m. eastern time, sit quietly, with the TV off and your phone on vibrate and reflect on why you’re thankful for living in the U.S. as you remember those who perished in 2001.

Donate to an organization with a mission important to you. Research a nonprofit or charity group that you think is doing amazing work for the American people, and make a monetary donation to them to contribute to their projects. At My Hero Crate, we pledge to donate a portion of our proceeds to a veteran-focused nonprofit for every military care package we sell. If you’re able to make a regular donation, rather than an annual one, consider doing it.

Let Us Know Your Plans for Patriot Day

Are you doing something special in observance of this important day? Tag us on Instagram @myherocrate to show us how you’re paying tribute.

Salute to America! Fourth of July Party Ideas with Social Distancing Measures

Get Your Holiday Snacks with a Military Care Package from My Hero Crate

This year’s Independence Day celebrations will look very different from what we’ve become accustomed to over the years. With social distancing guidelines in place all over the United States, people are still working to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, while celebrating the birth of our country.

It’s possible to throw a Fourth of July party and stay safe at the same time. At My Hero Crate, we’ve compiled ideas for celebrating July Fourth in special ways to prevent the spread of germs while still spending quality time with the ones you love, including your favorite soldier!

Serve Individual Meals and Snacks

It sounds extreme, but purchasing snacks in individually wrapped packages can help slow the spread of disease. When snacks come in their own bags or wrappers, no one is diving in, fingers-first, to hand-pick chips, nuts, or candy from a big bowl, and no one can cough directly into a serving vessel, either.

If your goal is to stay healthy, we recommend serving plated meals over buffet-style family dining, and setting up a snack table with individually-wrapped snacks. Include a couple bottles of hand sanitizer, and spread out the lawn chairs, and you’ll have a socially-distant good time! Stock up on your favorite individually-wrapped snacks with a military snack box from My Hero Crate.

Stay Outdoors

The fresh air outdoors can help decrease the likelihood of disease transmission, rather than sitting indoors where air recirculates through the HVAC system. When your partygoers stay outdoors, the summer breeze can carry away airborne droplets. Of course, it isn’t fool-proof, so sitting separately, not sharing drinks or utensils, and practicing good hygiene are a must. Thankfully, a classic American barbecue is hosted outside, and that’s the perfect party theme for the Fourth of July!

Plan Your Own Fireworks Show

If it’s legal to purchase fireworks where you live, consider having your own family fireworks show instead of attending a public one in the park. Have a bucket of water handy for dousing any stray sparks, and practice good fireworks safety by admiring lit fireworks from afar and never aiming them at a building, pet, or person. Older children can enjoy lighting smoke bombs, popping snaps, pulling confetti poppers, or waving sparklers at night, with adult supervision.

Watch Fireworks on TV

If fireworks are not legal to set off where you live, and your local fireworks display has been canceled this year, consider watching fireworks on television with your household instead. While it’s not the same as sitting outdoors, as the smoke wafts through the sky, it can be just as amazing to watch! Turn off all the lights, open the windows for an outdoor feel, and stream a fireworks show on your TV after enjoying a special meal together and serving delicious snacks. (Order a big stash of snacks with a care package from My Hero Crate!)

Video Conference Your Family

If you’re away from home, schedule a time to video conference your family, either on your cell phone or other device. Time it right to sit down to a meal together (you can even prepare the same thing), then watch fireworks through your screens as you ooh and ahh at the beautiful colors in the sky. Video conferences are also a great way to include family members who cannot gather at your house in person for their own health reasons. Harness the power of technology to make your holiday special.

Avoid Fireworks Altogether and Choose Another Fun Activity Instead

If the sounds of fireworks create more stress and discomfort than entertainment in your household, consider opting out of fireworks altogether. For some combat veterans, fireworks bring up traumatic moments in their military careers. While it’s important to find ways of managing PTSD symptoms, sometimes it’s better to avoid those feelings and memories altogether. Watch a movie as a family instead, try out virtual reality video games, or host a board game night. With music playing in the background, and treats to snack on, you can create a festive, patriotic spirit even without fireworks!

Build your holiday snack supply by ordering a military snack box from My Hero Crate. Our boxes are full of a variety of treats from American suppliers, and ordering one will save you time making a shopping list and searching for each item at the grocery store. You can even send one to your soldier, anywhere in the world, including overseas, with free standard shipping. Shop now.

Gift Ideas for Military Dads

Father’s Day Gifts for Heroes

For military families, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are sometimes two of the most heart-wrenching holidays, especially when you have to spend it away from your loved one. When you do get to spend the holiday together, it’s even more meaningful.

Regardless of the miles that separate you from your dad or husband in the military this year, give a special gift to show your love and gratitude for all the things they do every day. My Hero Crate has assembled gift ideas for dads near and far, with a military twist.

Father’s Day Gifts for Veterans

For a veteran dad, consider giving armed forces memorabilia as a special Father’s Day gift. Pennants, shirts, baseball caps, and even replica statues of military or historical figures they look up to can make heartfelt gifts. A license plate frame with their branch of the military on it would look great on your dad’s civilian car, too.

A Special Night Out

Give your dad a special night out for Father’s Day. Take him out to dinner at his favorite restaurant, and then treat him to dessert. Head home to watch one of his favorite movies, or play his favorite board or card game with him. Have a real conversation with him, with cell phones put away. Quality time spent together is one of the best gifts you can give.

Handmade Father’s Day Gifts

Handmade gifts take time to make, and creators put a lot of love into them. Try your hand at a new craft or hobby to create a special present for your dad this Father’s Day. Consider screenprinting a special t-shirt, assembling a family scrapbook, painting a coffee mug, or some other artistic endeavor. Dad will know you poured your heart into his gift and will treasure that forever.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Deployed Soldiers

If your dad is currently deployed, it can be hard to ship gifts to him at his overseas military address. Deployed soldiers don’t often have a lot of room for storing special possessions, either, so what you send needs to fit into his space and be military-approved, depending on where he’s stationed. For your dad, one of the best gifts you can give is a heartfelt greeting card or letter, new family photos, and a few items he needs. It’s not an exciting gift, but when you fulfill your dad’s wish list, you’re helping him live more comfortably, wherever he is in the world. 

If you want to surprise your deployed hero for Father’s Day, send him a special military care package from My Hero Crate. Our gift baskets are full of military-approved snacks from American distributors, and ship to FPO, APO, or DPO address anywhere in the world for free — or to your dad’s home address here in the United States. Each snack box contains an assortment of nuts, chips, candy, jerky, cookies, and more, with gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options, too. Plus, now through June 21, 2020, take an extra 15% off your purchase!

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A Brief History of Memorial Day

Thank Our Military for Your Continuing Freedom


In 2020, Memorial Day is Monday, May 25. Although the national holiday may be a little different this year because of social distancing practices, the day will still carry the same heavy meaning as it has every year since it was established. 

At My Hero Crate, we celebrate the soldiers deployed, living on military bases, and everywhere else, working diligently to protect our country. But we would be mistaken to not acknowledge those who gave their lives for us. Memorial Day is the one day set aside every year to do that — but we’re truly thankful every day.



The Meaning of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, sometimes called Decoration Day, is observed in honor of the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces of the United States of America. We are literally memorializing the military members who made the ultimate sacrifice, no matter what branch they were in: Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, or National Guard. It’s a day to reflect on and remember why we are free to live as we do in this country.

Memorial Day is different from Veterans Day, celebrated on November 11 every year. Veterans Day is a time to thank and honor all military members who served, including those who came home alive. Veterans Day also acknowledges those soldiers who served during peacetime and did not see combat during their tenure. 



The First Memorial Day

It seems there is no official documentation of the first Memorial Day, but the custom of honoring fallen heroes is a worldwide tradition extending through history. Some say the day was first officially acknowledged in America after the Civil War, but there are records that show regions and countries honoring their service members prior to that. 


Regardless, Memorial Day became a national holiday in the United States in 1971, by an act of Congress. Americans celebrate it every year on the final Monday of May.



Memorial Day Activities


Traditionally, on Memorial Day in the United States, people visit cemeteries and memorials to place flowers and other mementos on the graves of their ancestors, particularly those who served in the military. At national cemeteries, like Arlington, volunteers place American flags on each grave.

Some families use Memorial Day as a time to get together with their loved ones, to barbecue, and relax. The day is often thought of as the unofficial start to the summer season, although the first day of summer isn’t until June.



Memorial Day Symbolism

You might remember seeing poppy flowers worn on lapels on Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day. There are historical and literary reasons for this. 


When the European ground was disturbed on the battlefields during World War I, poppy flowers began growing and blooming. The iconic red poppy was described in the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by a Canadian soldier, John McCrae, in 1915. 


The flower came up in another poem, this one written by Moina Michael in 1918, called “We Shall Keep the Faith.” Americans drew inspiration from these references and began to wear a red poppy in remembrance of those killed in World War I. 


Since then, the poppy has become a symbol to memorialize all veterans of any war, and quickly spread to Canada, Australia, and Great Britain, among other allies.


What You Can Do on Memorial Day

If you want to properly thank America’s fallen soldiers for their service, you can:


  • Participate in the national moment of silence at 3 p.m., whatever your time zone may be.

  • Volunteer to decorate the graves of soldiers at your local military cemetery or a national cemetery, if you live close-by.

  • Lay flowers on the graves of your veteran family members.

  • Donate to organizations that help injured service members or families of soldiers who lost their lives in battle.



How My Hero Crate Honors Veterans

My Hero Crate curates snack gift baskets designed for families to send to their loved ones in the military. Each care package is full of treats both made in America and distributed by American companies. For every purchase made, we donated to a non-profit veteran-backed organization. Visit our website to see the organization we’ve selected this month, and to shop our care packages.