Celebrating Memorial Day typically comprises picnics, camping trips, family gatherings, and pool parties. Observing the day with family and friends is a welcome tradition, but reflecting upon the intention of the holiday, honoring our fallen soldiers, and teaching your children its importance instills respect and appreciation for your country’s fight for the freedoms we all enjoy and the sacrifices made to secure them.
As you celebrate Memorial Day with your family and friends, the following suggestions can help you personalize the holiday and honor the greatest sacrifices of American military families stationed around the world.
1. Fly the American Flag at half-staff. On Memorial Day the American Flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to noon. Teaching your children the symbolism of the American Flag and why we honor those who fought and laid down their lives for our country is an important way to deepen their respect for those who died for our freedom.
2. Attend a Memorial Day event. Most communities host numerous parades and events honoring veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. Bring the whole family to attend these events together. Respect is modeled for children by the honor they observe in their parent’s actions.
3. Share a moment of silence at 3 p.m. The National Moment of Remembrance traditionally occurs at 3p.m. on Memorial Day. This is a time for Americans to gather together regardless of their location and allocate 5 minutes to thinking of those who sacrificed their life for our country.
4. Have your children read a book or read one to them about military heroes who served the country and the impact they left on the world. If your children are older, watch a movie together as a family about wars Americans fought to in defense of our country.
5. Write letters and create artwork with your children to send to our troops. Spend time drawing a picture or writing letters of gratitude with your children for a fun and meaningful activity. Letters or packages can be mailed a non-profit organization called "Support our Troops." Support Our Troops / 13791 N. Nebraska Ave / Tampa, FL 33613
Relax and enjoy backyard festivities celebrating the beginning of summer, but also dedicate time to honor the men and women who gave their life for our freedom. Happy Memorial Day!