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 vetfriends.com. Or, watch the National Memorial Day Parade on television.
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 enchantedlearning.com and find Memorial Day coloring pages, craft projects, word searches, quizzes and more.
Break Bread Together
Allrecipes.com 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.