Memorial Day is almost here, and for most us that means that summer is here. School is out and it’s time to start planning those wonderful family vacations.
But Memorial Day is so much more than that. It’s a time for remembering those who have died in service of our country.
If you’re looking for a way to share this with your family, here are four family traditions that are extremely easy to implement.
Raise the flag
You may already have a flag mounted to your home, but did you know that there is a step that needs to be taken to show that our nation is in mourning on Memorial Day? For flags that cannot be lowered to half-staff, you need to take a piece of black ribbon and attach it to the uppermost end of the flag.
The ribbon should trail down and be of equal length of the flag and roughly the same width as one of the stripes on the flag.
Attend a Memorial Day parade.
Most cities and towns will have some sort of Memorial Day procession with participants from local veteran’s organizations, civic clubs and marching bands from area schools.
A parade is a great way to join your fellow citizens to pay tribute to our surviving veterans as well as those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Visit a veteran’s cemetery.
There is a multitude of organizations that place flags at the gravesites of American veterans. If your child is older this may be a great tradition to start as it may mean more to him or her as they are personally involved.
If your children are too young or you’re unable to participate, take a walk among the gravestones. Most veterans will have their years of service included on their headstone.
Purposeful moments such as these allow your children the opportunity to ask questions on a topic that is generally taboo.
Moment of Silence.
A final option is to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance which occurs at 3 pm local time on Memorial Day.
For one full minute, all Americans are asked to pause and remember those who have died in service of our great nation.
So please be sure to take some time to engage in one of these kid-friendly ideas and teach your children the true meaning of Memorial Day.
There will still be a lot of time left in your weekend for swimming and picnics after you teach your kids how to honor our nation’s fallen soldiers.