How are you celebrating Memorial Day this year? Even better, who are you remembering? I was surprised to find out that a couple of my students had no attachment to our American holidays except to eat food with family. Their response prompted me to ask you for your traditions of celebrating Memorial Day.
You know, maybe younger generations don’t understand Memorial Day because fighting a war via video games is sanitized. TV news has fallen out of favor because much of it has been labeled as “fake.” Short takes of war don’t get ratings anymore. Computer videos that solicit the most clicks get seen. Perhaps our kids don’t understand the true bravery of the person who gave his or her life to serve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Maybe they don’t understand what it takes.
So, have you shown your home movies of your family’s military heroes? What about old newspaper clippings or great grandpa’s war medals? What if you have no members of the military in your lineage? My father was Canadian, so we had no American soldiers on his side of the family. My mother, however, had us kids place a flag or flowers on the grave of her cousin who died in WWII. We were the only relatives here for him in the United States. This was a Memorial Day tradition in our family. Every year until I finished high school, I marched in the Memorial Day parade. Then, as a family, we all went to the gravesite to place the flowers and flag on the grave. We paused in silence for prayer.
Parents and Grandparents, we have an obligation to talk to our children about remembering those who died in the service of our country. My younger grandsons are 4 and 7 yrs. old. I plan to bring them some toy soldiers and two small American flags. If we lived near my hometown, I would take them to that gravesite of my mother’s cousin to place a flag and flowers there. You know, it’s the tradition thing. It’s a way of passing on our American heritage.
There’s the 2019 National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday, May 26 at 8/7c on PBS. You can acquaint or reminisce with your family the traditional songs of America as you commemorate our fallen heroes.
Don’t miss the opportunity to pause, reflect, and remember the ultimate sacrifice of our fellow Americans.
Keeping their memory alive. Passing on our American traditions. Showing gratitude for all who served and have now passed on. It’s Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.??