Although most of us are probably happy about the long weekend, we should also remember exactly what this time means for all of us. When my son asked me why he’s not going to school on Monday, I saw it as an important to teach him exactly what the meaning of Memorial Day is.
Memorial Day goes as far back as 1868 when it was once called Decoration Day, because the graves of soldiers were decorated with flags and flowers. Then in 1967, the yearly time was officially marked as the last Monday of May.
Memorial Day is the day we pay respect to the soldiers who fought for our freedom. The soldiers who bravely put their lives on the line so we can live without fear. Just imagine what it would be like NOT to be able to shop whenever we’d like or have our children play outside without fear of them being shot?
Why I want my child to know the true meaning of Memorial Day
Just like the rest of my family, I’m an immigrant. We all came here at different times and had different ways of going about it. Things were so much different back there but the point was to come to America to have a better life with greater opportunities.
I want my child to grow up, not just understanding his roots, but knowing what it means to have his freedom. My son lives in a place where he has the opportunity to have just about anything he wants. He has no idea what the cost of freedom is and the sacrifices soldiers and their families have made.
And because of those sacrifices, the rest of us can go about our business and live the lives we sometimes take for granted.
BBQs and a fun 3 day weekend sounds great, but what else can you do to honor the memories of our fallen soldiers?
Memorial Day is so much more than BBQs and a fun 3 day weekend. It’s an opportunity to help our children understand empathy, kindness, and the history that allows us to even have those feelings. It’s about honoring and remembering the truest, most unselfish, brave acts of compassion anyone can bestow on us.
I don’t believe there’s any special stage to help children understand what Memorial Day is all about. Kids may wonder what “fallen soldiers” mean, but eventually, they will want to know what happens to us when we die.
We can always find ways to soften the topic of honoring memories, especially for the young people. Surely we, as parents, are all creative enough to go through the subject without it sounding too morbid. We can help them understand through story-telling, crafts, play and so much more.
How has your 3 day Memorial weekend been so far?