Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day: 5 Ways to Celebrate and Appreciate Your Freedom

In 1868, May 30th became the official Memorial Day to remember those Americans who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, while serving their country, so that all people living in the United States of America can enjoy freedom.

The first Memorial Day was called Decoration Day and was celebrated by placing flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers.

Currently the last Monday of May is the national holiday to celebrate and honor our U. S. soldiers by placing flowers or small U. S. flags on their graves. Red Poppy flower boutonnieres are worn as an aide-memoire of our soldier’s blood shed while protecting our country. The American flag is flown from sunup to sunset. Many cities and towns throughout the nation have special events to celebrate freedom and appreciate their veterans.

Here are 5 ways to help children learn about what’s behind America’s Memorial Day holiday:

1. Read your local newspaper to find out how your town is honoring a soldier. Attend a local event and look for cool facts about soldiers.

2. Visit a cemetery and look for the flags by a veteran’s grave. Spend a moment of silence to commemorate that soldier’s life.

3. Make an American Soldier flag. Draw a flag using red, yellow and blue crayons on white construction paper. Be sure and have fifty yellow stars with seven red and six white stripes. Glue a picture of your soldier in the center of the flag. Place your soldier flag in a prominent place, like on your refrigerator door.

4. Have a picnic and talk to your family about soldiers who have served in the military.

5. Write a story about your family’s soldier who gave their life so that we could enjoy freedom.

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Resource box: Jewel Sample is a children’s writer and author of Flying Hugs and Kisses. For more information about her background and publications visit her at Jewel’s Sand Box News