Your kiddos probably know Memorial Day as a day that kicks off summer break or a Monday that mom and dad get to stay home from work. Before you fire up the grill to cook those hamburgers and hot dogs, hit the lake, or kick back and relax at the pool as a family, it’s important to teach your kiddos to honor what Memorial Day is all about.
Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?
May 30, 1868, is when the memorial routines started. General John A. Logan said it was a day dedicated to remembering fallen Civil War soldiers. People from all over went to their graves and decorated them. Soon after, the was recognized as Memorial Day. Then, during the year of 1950, the president of the time, Harry S. Truman called Americans to honor Memorial Day to a higher standard, asking them to use the day to pray for peace. In 1971, President Richard Nixon finally declared Memorial Day a federal holiday. Memorial Day is always on the last day Monday of May.
Kids need to understand that this is much more than a free day out of school or work. Memorial Day honors military men and women who died serving our country. You can expect the President to give a speech on this special day and lay wreaths on graves at the Arlington National Cemetery.
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How Your Family Can Honor & Celebrate
To get the kids in the spirit, plan some fun Memorial Day activities for the entire family to enjoy. Fly your red, white, and blue American flag during the week leading up to Memorial Day. Or, visit a military cemetery and place American flags and beautiful flowers on their grave. As you perform these acts throughout the day, take the time to have meaningful conversations with your kids about why you are doing what you are doing: to honor those military men and women who died protecting their freedoms. Of course, sport your favorite red, white, and blue clothes throughout the day, no matter what you are doing.
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