Memorial Day

The Next Family

News by Shannon Ralph

Memorial Day is here. As a working mom, a three-day weekend is like Nirvana. It is better than Christmas. Better than chocolate. Possibly even better than sex. Our typical weekend-warrior mentality —trying to get 750 chores done in a short 48-hour weekend —miraculously becomes more manageable when there is an extra day thrown in there. In 72 hours, there is a possibility that I may find a spare moment to drink a beer. To grill a steak. To play a video game with my boys. To sit down and color with my daughter.

As you are enjoying your additional 24 hours of freedom this weekend, I would implore you to think about sharing the meaning of Memorial Day with your children. Though the actual origination of Memorial Day is hotly contested, there is no debate about the purpose of the day. Memorial Day gives Americans a day to reflect and memorialize those men and women who have given their lives in military service to our country. Regardless of your personal feelings on war, it is an ugly reality and, some would argue, a necessary evil. Explaining to your children the history of our country and the important role our military men and women have played in the world they are inheriting will instill in them a sense of respect and patriotism that —regardless of my feelings on war —I want my children to possess.

Enjoy your beer and your barbecue and your camping this weekend, but take a moment to remember our men and women in uniform. Visit a local war memorial. Go to a Memorial Day parade. Have your children create a card to be sent to a soldier overseas. Take some time to learn about military medals of honor. Bake cookies for a nearby Veteran’s hospital. There are numerous ways to take a brief moment to honor our fallen soldiers. As the proud sister of an ex-Marine and Iraq war veteran, I will definitely be discussing the meaning of Memorial Day with my children this weekend.

In between beers and barbecue, of course.

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[Photo Credit: QuotableKidney]

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