Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May in the United States to honor and mourn the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the armed forces.
“Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.” – Ronald Reagan
GOOD TEACHING MOMENTS FOR OUR CHILDREN.
1. Explain the meaning of Memorial Day
First celebrated in 1868 when a Union general declared May 30 as the day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers, after World War I Memorial Day became a holiday to honor Americans who died fighting in any war. In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared the last Monday of May as a federal holiday to honor the men and women who died while serving in any branch of the armed forces in all wars. (Veterans Day in November is when we honor all who have served in the military.)
2. Teach Kids About Flying the Flag
Our flag is an important symbol as a country. Help your children to understand its significance. A symbol of mourning, the flag fly’s at half-past the morning of Memorial Day, returning to full mast at noon. Use this as an opportunity to discuss the flag, and its meaning as a nation. If your children are familiar with the Pledge of Allegiance, encourage them to recite it for you, or have your older children teach your younger children and have them all recite it together! If you have older children, teach them how to fold a flag properly at the end of the day.
3. Make patriotic crafts Decorate your front door with a red, white and blue wreath, or create fun hats, necklaces, to spruce up your backyard barbeque! Why not share your crafts with others? Nursing homes are full of Veterans who would appreciate a decoration for their rooms. Though Memorial Day is about soldiers who died in war, veterans who may have lost fellow soldiers in service will appreciate being in your thoughts.
4. Make a patriotic themed dessert
Add patriotism to your usual backyard barbecue by creating a special dish together. Or how about some kid-friendly Patriotic Punch? Layer blueberry, fruit punch, and lemonade in a glass, and use a licorice rope for a straw!
5. Visit a war memorial or veteran’s cemetery in your town.
Have your kids help you pick out flowers or make a wreath that you as a family can leave there in honor of the soldiers who died fighting for our country. You can find a list of local Veteran cemeteries on the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs website