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Teach Your Kids About Memorial Day

by Mark Evans

Yes, for many Memorial Day is a day off.  And sadly, that's how a majority of American's view this holiday.  That's a shame as it's time set aside to remember the fallen; the brave men and women who have fought to provide us with the freedoms we enjoy in this country.

I remember fondly my time as a kid on Hollister Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin where Memorial Day meant a lot more than that.

First off, I should tell you that I'm old enough that a lot of our neighbor's when I was growing up were either WW II or Korean War Vets.  Some of my friends had older brothers who served in Vietnam; so there was a sense of American Pride in the area already.

Every house on my block flew the American Flag on Memorial Day, and many times we would all meet for a neighborhood picnic to share stories of our heroes and remember the names of the ones who never made it home.

Starting in 2002, my kids were 6 and 4 - I started taking them to a Memorial Day celebration near my new home in Marquette, Michigan.  They wondered why when I never served in the Armed Forces this was so important to me.  I'd have to say Pride; considering we were less than a year removed from the events of 9-11 there was a lot of that back then.  Sadly, that's faded....and with that some of the importance of Memorial Day.  But that lesson was driven home and we visited that ceremony every year after that for many. many years.

This Monday, I urge to to find a Memorial Day observation of some sort.  Seek out your local VFW, or your local VVA chapter and see what's going on and make sure you explain to your kids....why this holiday is more than just a day off for Mom and Dad.