Since Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971, workers and students across the U.S. have enjoyed long Memorial Day weekends. To many, the holiday has become the starting whistle signifying the much-awaited summer.
Happy Memorial Day. Right?
For those who fully understand and take a moment to really think about Memorial Day, it might sound somewhat off to hear “Happy Memorial Day.” After all, the holiday wouldn’t exist without great loss. Today our country honors the men and women who have lost their lives protecting this country and the freedoms we enjoy.
How can death lead to a supposed “happy” holiday? People who have personally lost loved ones most likely don’t experience pure happiness on this day. That’s okay. Perhaps instead of worrying about having a happy Memorial Day, most should aim for enjoying a meaningful Memorial Day.
Since we know many of our readers have children, we thought it would be valuable to offer some advice on how to make this holiday more than just a day off for your kids. A Time piece offers the following tips on how to make Memorial Day meaningful for them:
- Discuss how soldiers have helped benefit kids’ lives. Talk about the things that kids enjoy due to the freedom that our country provides, such as school, their religious traditions, etc. Keep the age of your kids in mind and aim for the message of freedom’s value to make sense at their level.
- Take a moment of silence and make it count. Did you know that 3 P.M. on Memorial Day is the National Moment of Remembrance? Kids might not know what to think about when told to take a moment of silence. Instead of just asking for quiet, parents can guide their kids’ train of thought by noting who has been lost in their family, what sacrifice means and why this day, this country, are so special.
Today is a day not to work. Sure, that alone can be worth celebrating. Enjoy your extra time outdoors with family and friends. Celebrate the coming of summer! But we also hope that your celebration is infused with a meaningful portion of observing the bravery and sacrifice that have built this nation. Have a special Memorial Day.