Perhaps it is because of all the years I lived in Alexandria, Virginia daily driving or riding the metro
past Arlington Cemetery where relatives rest in peace among the thousands upon
thousands of others lying beneath white crosses.
Perhaps it is because I grew
up as a Girl Scout and then as a baton twirler marching in Memorial Day parades
and learned in grade school that this is a day set aside to pay respect to the
men and women who have died in wars or in other service to our country.
Perhaps it is because I
am the wife a career naval officer, a military aunt and, for a while, was a
military mom who has watched too many American flags folded by young Marines and
handed to widows often as young as they are or because of my affiliation with
Operation Military Kids and the children of Wounded Warriors that I am surprised
to see so many treat today as a long weekend marking the beginning of summer.
Memorial Day is so much
more than a day of casual barbeques, blow out bargains at the mall and opening
day at the pool. The celebrations once begun in thankful appreciation for those
who gave their lives so we could live in peace have been erased from our
children’s text books and hijacked by
commercialism. Like Christmas,
the reason for the season has been nearly forgotten.
So what do we do about
it? We take responsibility and teach our
children why today is a holiday and what it means to our country’s history and
our warriors’ families! Here are some
great ideas from an article posted on military.com.
Honor and Respect
Visit a local Veteran’s
cemetery. Almost every community has some sort of a war memorial.
Visit and Pay Tribute
Take cookies, books, or
movies to a nearby Veteran’s hospital.
Celebrate with a Parade
Go to a Memorial Day
parade. To find one near you visit vetfriends.com. Or, watch the National Memorial Day Parade on television.
This link provides kids an online scavenger hunt that
helps them learn about the history of Memorial Day.
Recognize our Heroes
Teach your children
about the Medal of Honor. You can print a Medal of Honor coloring book and learn the history behind our bravest
military men and women.
Educate with History
Watch a movie and learn
some history about famous battles of the past. The History Channel and The
Military Channel have many shows that might fit this bill.
Create with Crafts
Visit enchantedlearning.com and find Memorial Day coloring pages, craft projects, word
searches, quizzes and more.
Break Bread Together
Allrecipes.com has some
great Memorial Day recipes for the holiday.
Make a Soldier’s Day
Have your children create
a card or picture to be sent overseas to a Soldier currently at war.