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Memorial Day: Keep Them Close in Your Heart

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

-Thomas Campbell

The fourth Monday in May is just one opportunity to honor the sacrifice, bravery, valor, heartache, laughter, and joy of our loved ones. What can you do to teach your children about Memorial Day?

** DO remember to display your American flag (and teach your kids flag etiquette)

** Don’t forget to keep the flag at half-staff until noon.

 

** DO pause to remember. When you remember even just one service member close to you, you honor the hundreds of thousands who have fallen. Say the name of a service member and learn their story. And at 3 p.m., pause your activities for a moment of silence with your family.

** Don’t be afraid to share your sadness or even funny stories of that service member with your children. Learn more about organizations like TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), which does amazing work for our Gold Star Families.

 

** DO remember to wear a poppy, and explain to your kids the significance of it! While you’re at it, explain the difference between Armed Forces Day (honors our current service members), Memorial Day (honors our nation’s fallen service members), and Veterans Day (a day to thank and honor all who served in the Armed Forces).

** Don’t forget that organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion exist to support our military (veteran, active duty, family) community. Support them and honor a service member with this visual reminder.

 

** DO participate as a family in an activity that honors the memory of our service members. wear blue: run to remember hosts events around the country on Memorial Day and throughout the year.

Don’t shield kids from the purpose of Memorial Day. Teach them honor. Tell them stories of courage and sacrifice. Give your kids the gift of participating in Memorial Day.

 

** DO perform an act of service with your kids, as Memorial Day honors those who died while serving their country. Even young children can help to plant flags at a veterans cemetery.

** Don’t forget that even the smallest act of service performed by a child is beautiful.

***

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