I Am Raising a Patriotic Child by Teaching My Son Why
We Observe This Important National Holiday
As Americans, I think it’s universal that we look forward to the long Memorial Day Weekend filled with rest-and-relaxation with family and friends. Oh, how we enjoy the
Memorial Day barbeque parties and picnics outside, especially now that the weather is warmer.
Even over this three-day holiday weekend, I think it’s sometimes easy to take for granted what the true cost of freedom is and all the American lives lost for defending our country. For me, teaching my child about why we celebrate Memorial Day in the United States of America is how I am able to observe and celebrate this important national holiday with much more thought and somberness.
Why Memorial Day is special to my young son and so dear to his heart…
1. A Family History Lesson.
My husband and I are extremely fortunate to have relatives in our family history that served in the United States Armed Forces, survived WWI, WWII, and the Korean War, and lived to tell about it, and earned honors and medals.
Even though Memorial Day is all about remembering those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, it’s still an opportune time to bring to life for my son our family members who served our country and did not die in battle. He has developed sympathy for others who have lost relatives and loved ones by war, and who were not as fortunate.
My child’s absolute love for the patriotic holidays began when he was a toddler. By far, Memorial Day is one of his all-time favorite remembrance holidays because in our small town, we start off observing as a family by attending the local parade. It’s as local as it gets, and my son looks forward to this part of the celebration year-after-year.
The experience really puts into perspective why we celebrate Memorial Day. It is well worth the effort to especially see the veterans, old and young, march to the bands playing “Yankee Doodle” and “God Bless America”. The parade is also an educational experience because my young son “gets” why we honor soldiers who “died and went to Heaven early by defending our country from bad guys”. Not to mention, the parade is simply fun, too!
We make an effort to buy “Made in the U.S.A.” American Flags for all of our guests for every patriotic holiday. My son loves taking the time to think about what The American Flag means to him, and how he is going to give one small handheld flag to every child that comes to our house on any of the patriotic holidays throughout the year.
Our house is “the one that always has The American Flag outside”. When weather permits, we raise the flag on President’s Day, Armed Forces Day, and then Memorial Day through Veteran’s Day. No wonder why my son gets excited when he sees The American Flag. He’s officially a patriotic child!
Article and photo are by Alicia Sakal. Originally Published in Yahoo! Parenting.