Friday, May 27, 2011

Mom, what is Memorial Day about?

Well, if you have heard this question, or wondered it yourself, you know it is not supposed to be about the 3 day super sales. But it is what it has turned into. So how do you explain it and celebrate it with kids?

First, a little history lesson. It originated after the civil war as a day of remembrance for those lost in the battles, symbolized by placing crosses and flowers at the gravesides of fallen soldiers. Then in 1868, retired Major General Logan declared that the 30th of May be a time of remembrance for the brave service of men and women who gave their lives for their country. Now, it honors those who died in any of the wars, past and present, from the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and Desert Storm, to the current battles still being fought in the Middle East. It was declared a federal holiday in 1971 and we use this day to also remember loved ones as well. Parades and dedications of memorials are usually part of the day's activities to commemorate the holiday.

So when you and your family are celebrating the extended weekend, make sure you take the time to think about why. Get your kids involved by going to a parade (bring ear plugs, sunscreen and water). Make a craft, and visit a local dedicated park or playground honoring service men and women. But make sure to share with them the importance of the day.

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." ~Joseph Campbell

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