For many of use, Memorial Day comes and goes, we have a barbecue, shop a few sales, and enjoy the beginning of summer, while forgetting the importance of this holiday. Memorial Day was created as a day to remember fallen troops and to honor troops serving today. The last thing we want to teach our children is to take freedom and the death of American patriots for granted. This year why not take this day and spend it with your family, honoring our troops. If you are not sure what you can do with your kids to honor our troops, here are some excellent suggestions.
As a Family Observe the National Moment of Remembrance
On Memorial Day each year, there is a National Moment of Remembrance. This occurs at 3pm your local time and lasts for one minute. Observe this as a family by saying a prayer or simply having a moment of silence.
Teach Children to Display a Flag Properly
Fly the flag at your home on Memorial Day to honor the troops. This is a great time to teach your child how to display a flag properly. Teach them how they should handle a flag when raising it and lowering it.
Make Thank You Cards for Veterans
Another great idea is to make thank you cards for veterans. Check with the Veteran's Administration for some information on finding local veterans. Make up these cards to say thank you, and then send them to veterans in your area.
Visit a Veteran's Hospital
Find a Veteran's Hospital in your local area and then go on a visit. Take your children with you. Take along some cards or cookies and enjoy hearing their stories and saying thank you to these brave men and women.
Go to a Local Parade
More than likely there will be a local parade in your community to celebrate and remember the troops on Memorial Day. Consider taking your kids to the parade, wave flags, and enjoy the patriotic music as you remember together what all the brave men and women have done for this country.
Send Cards to Soldiers Currently Deployed
Another great way to honor troops with your kids is to send out cards to soldiers that are currently deployed. Many soldiers look forward to hearing from home. Kids can draw pictures or create cards to send overseas to the soldiers currently fighting.
Visit a Local War Memorial
Visiting a local war memorial is another good option to honor the troops on Memorial Day. Most communities have some type of war memorial in the area. Take your children to the memorial and talk to them about the sacrifice that has been made by many men and women in the past.
Go to a Cemetery and Place Flags on Graves of Veterans
Going to a cemetery and placing flags or flowers on the graves of veterans can be a way to honor those who have given their lives for freedom. Find out where veterans are buried and buy some flowers and flags to take with you. Let the kids place them on the graves. Just make sure you teach your children to be respectful while they are in the cemetery.
Donate to Disabled American Veterans (www.dav.org)
Donating to Disabled American Veterans, which is found at www.dav.org, is a special way to honor the troops who have been disabled after fighting for this country. Many disabled veterans deal with big challenges when they come home. Raise some money by doing a carwash as a family or selling some baked good, or simply save extra change and send it to this worthy cause to help honor the troops who have served.
Take Baked Goods to a Family That Has a Loved One Overseas
More than likely there are families in your community that have loved ones overseas. It can be difficult for families as they are missing a parent. Find a family in your area that has a parent overseas and take them baked goods as a way to honor not only the sacrifice of the soldier, but the sacrifice of the family as well.
Send Care Packages Via Operation USO Care Package
Sending a care package via Operation USO Care Package is a great way to get your kids involved in honoring and respecting the troops. You can contribute money to this cause at www.usocare.org or you can send in items for these care packages, which include disposable cameras, toiletries, sunscreen, and more. Find out more by visiting their website to see what you can do to help send these packages to the men and women who serve.
Contribute to Operation Uplink
Operation Uplink, found at http://www.operationuplink.org is another website to visit. They offer a program that allows you to contribute purchasing phone cards that are given to veterans that are hospitalized and military personnel that are overseas so they are able to call friends and family members. Save as a family and make a contribution to this great cause.
Support Military Family Members by Volunteering
You can also support military family members by volunteering your time. This can include helping a family with yard work, cleaning, house repairs, and more. Check with local organizations like the American Red Cross, Veterans of Foreign Wars, or the American legion to find out how you can volunteer and help as a family in this way.
Take Care of a Pet
If you have room for a pet at your home, take on a pet of a military person that is currently deployed. NetPets.org is a website where you can find out more about this program. It involves temporarily providing a foster home for pets while their owners are away at war. It can be fun for your whole family and will definitely be appreciated by those currently serving in the military.
These are just a few of the ways that you can honor our troops with your kids. Honoring the troops is not a matter of politics. Men and women have died in the past for freedom, and today many put their life on the line for this country. That deserves respect and honor, so use one or more of these ways to teach your children to honor the troops this Memorial Day, and every day of the year.
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