Are we missing the meaning of Memorial Day? Planning long weekends away, hosting barbecues, using the extra vacation/holiday to get married and take off one less day from work? No? Yes?
On one hand, we are celebrating our freedom and enjoying the country our ancestors fought for. On the other hand, what are we actually doing to remember those who gave their lives and time for us to appreciate that sacrifice?
Let’s start here: What is Memorial Day? According to britannica.com it is a national holiday established to honor those who have died in American wars. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. It originated during the American Civil War, when citizens would place flowers on the graves of those who had been killed in battle.
Did you know our country still does that? Keep reading…
Waco has some great opportunities for you and your family to honor this holiday:
1. Vietnam Veteran’s War Memorial – You can take your family to the Memorial and simply tell your children these heroes fought and died for our country. We can teach them that we take a moment to honor their sacrifice and devotion to our country with a word or prayer of gratitude. “Thank you for your service. You did not die in vain and we honor you.” Your words can be that simple.
2. Cemeteries – Various groups bring truckloads of flags and place them on the graves of fallen soldiers every Memorial Day. For example, at Oakwood Cemetery, Connally ISD’s ROTC provides this service, and at Waco Memorial Park, it is the Boy Scouts. These are 2 places you can take your family to remember those we are honoring for Memorial Day.
3. Home/Wherever you are – This one is simple. Play some music, offer a moment of silence, pledge to the flag as a family in honor of fallen soldiers, light a candle for someone you’ve lost in your family from war, pray and offer gratitude for those who gave their lives for our country. Just take a moment.
In 2006 I made a mixed CD for my Dad, who is a purple heart Vietnam Veteran, as “An Aural Tribute” to his service. It included songs that all have so much meaning to him from his time in service. Feel free to use this playlist with your family over Memorial Day ribs and potato salad. My Dad has loved it. I’ll share at the end!
As moms, we can get so overwhelmed with end of year school activities, upcoming summer, travel, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and everything in-between. It’s easy for Memorial Day to slide off the activities priority list, so this post is all about making it simple for you. We want our children to understand honor, sacrifice, and brotherhood/sisterhood. This holiday offers an amazing opportunity to do that and I hope this information helps take the stress off planning for you. Love ya, mama!