Today is Memorial Day and while it’s a holiday many of us look forward to as the official start to summer—and the perfect occasion to grill out with friends and family—it’s a day that should be recognized with reverence. As the son of a U.S. Army major, I think it’s important to take a moment out to do something special in honor of those who lost their lives fighting for our country. Here are a couple of family friendly ways to mark the day:
Read all about it. Sitting down to share a story is always a good idea, especially when you’ve got younger kids. There are a bunch of fun books out there that talk about Memorial Day and why it’s important. For the younger set, Memorial Day: Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme, F Is For Flag, and Memorial Day (Let’s Celebrate).
Talk about the flag. The flag is an important symbol of country, so teaching kids about it is a great way to show them why Memorial Day is celebrated. Explaining why the flag is flown at half mast, practicing the “Pledge of Allegiance” together, and showing older children how to fold the flag properly are just some of the ways you can start the conversation about the significance of the day.
Attend a parade or event. Most towns and cities have special events, from parades to remembrance ceremonies. Check out Vet Friends for information about events in your area, or you can tune in to watch the National Memorial Day Parade, held in Washington, DC, on May 27.
Send a care package. Remembering those who’ve given their lives for our country is important—and so is sending your good wishes to those active armed forces around the world. With organizations like Operation Gratitude, you can show your support by organizing and sending care packages to our troops deployed overseas.