How To Make Memorial Day Significant for Kids
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Kristen, Celebrate Every Day With Me
Celebrating Memorial Day with your niece or nephew can not only be an opportunity for a special time with you, their Savvy Auntie, but also an opportunity to educate him or her on the value and cost of our freedom.
Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember and honor those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday used to be called Decoration Day, following the American Civil War, when graves were adorned in remembrance, but by the twentieth century, the holiday was applied to all soldiers who gave their lives in service to the country.
When deciding how to approach a conversation about Memorial Day, take the ages of your niece or nephew into consideration. Not all children are prepared to hear and talk about death. You may want to ask their mom or dad if they’re ready for that kind of discussion. Check out what eras they’re studying in school, and chances are you can find a way to relate it to Memorial Day.
Most communities offer Memorial Day activities which you can attend with your niece and nephew: parades, memorial services at a local cemetery, even fireworks. You can do a quick internet search and create a patriotic Memorial Day craft to either take home, to a picnic or leave at a gravesite.
If your niece and nephew are old enough, take the opportunity to talk about the sacrifices made by soldiers, and their families, in defending and protecting our freedoms. Do you know someone who has lost a loved one in the armed forces? Why not write a note to the family and deliver it with some flowers? Tell them how much you appreciate the sacrifice made and hope for continued healing in their family.
If the family is one you know well, maybe they would take the time to share about their loved one with you, and your niece and nephew. Learning more about the brave individual and connecting with a specific family, instead of just the general idea of appreciation, will deepen your niece’s or nephew’s understanding of the cost of freedom and the loss of American lives.
While picnics with patriotic colors and family gatherings are a fun part of Memorial Day, don’t forget to pause for at least a moment with your niece or nephew, and recognize the significance of what we’re celebrating, and remembering.
Published: May 21, 2012