I love that we (USA) have this holiday! A day set aside to remember, memorialize, the service and sacrifice of people who have given everything to protect our freedom. This is a day of honor, respect, and remembrance. For many Americans, Memorial Day has become just another day to get together with friends and family to have cook-outs, go out on the boat, party, etc… Don’t get me wrong, I think getting together and celebrating our defenders is absolutely the right thing to do. I just want to encourage you to take a moment and remember the reason for the day off, the reason for the gathering. Take a moment to acknowledge, corporately (together), those who have given their life defending our country so you can have a Monday off in May to gather, eat, and celebrate!
You also might want to consider celebrating another “memorial” as part of your gathering. There is One who gave His life so you could have the ultimate freedom — eternal life with the Father. The early church practiced communion every time they met, not just on special occasions or once a quarter. They participated in the Lord’s Supper every time they met to remember — remember the sacrifice that Jesus paid and the new covenant that He established between God and man through His sacrifice.
As part of your gathering, take a moment to remember the fallen, but also take a moment to remember the Risen. You might even want to celebrate the Lord’s Supper as part of your gathering. It doesn’t require a priest to administer (there certainly weren’t enough ordained priests to go around in the early church for every gathering). Just celebrate the Lord’s Supper with reverence, respect, and remembering the Lord and His sacrifice. In the celebration, you proclaim His death until He comes again. If you need some context, read the details in these scriptures:
1 Corinthians 11
The last reference includes specific instruction by Paul on how you should “come to the table” so I encourage you to read the whole chapter. The “words of institution” can be found in verses 23-26.