Commemorating Memorial Day with Kids
May 25, 2017 | Cheryl Trimble
Chattanooga National Cemetery

A recent post by a veteran friend  has me thinking about the meaning behind Memorial Day and who we are celebrating. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and started after the Civi War. President Reagan had these words to say at Arlington National Cemetery in 1986:

"Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It's a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It's a day to be with the family and remember."

While searching, I came across an article on that offered this advice for sharing Memorial Day with your children:

Commemorating Memorial Day with Kids

President Richard Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday on the last Monday in May. Cities all around the U.S. will hold their own celebrations to pay respect to the men and women who have died in wars or in the service of their country.

Teaching the meaning of Memorial Day to your children can be a challenge. To many Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer and is an excuse to get out and barbeque and go camping, but to military families the meaning runs much deeper than a casual barbeque. We want our children to understand why Memorial Day is a holiday and what it means to our country's history and our warriors' families.

The simplest thing you can do to explain and honor this holiday with your children is to spend time talking to them about what Memorial Day means to you. Take the day to talk & reflect on the subject of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Honor and Respect

Visit a local Veteran's cemetery. Almost every community has some sort of a war memorial.

Visit and Pay Tribute

Take cookies, books, or movies to a nearby Veteran's hospital.

Celebrate with a Parade

Go to a Memorial Day parade. To find one near you visit Or, watch the National Memorial Day Parade on television.

Scavenger Hunt

This link provides kids an online scavenger hunt that helps them learn about the history of Memorial Day.

Recognize our Heroes

Teach your children about medals of honor. You can print a Medal of Honor coloring book and learn the history behind our brave Soldiers.

Educate with History

Watch a movie and learn some history about famous battles of the past. The History Channel and The Military Channel have many shows that might fit this bill.

Create with Crafts

Visit and find Memorial Day coloring pages, craft projects, word searches, quizzes and more.

Break Bread Together has some great Memorial Day recipes for the holiday.

Make a Service Member's Day

Have your children create a card or picture to be sent overseas to a Soldier currently at war.



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