May we, as Abraham Lincoln famously said, “highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
My big brother, Mike, just retired from his career in the military. I have watched him serve our country since I was a young girl. I remember sitting in middle school, at Washington Middle School, and hearing about the Iraq War breaking out and wondering what that would mean for my brother Mike. He served there and in every war since then as well as some additional intelligence missions in various countries. At times it seemed romantic and ideal, his world travels and exciting adventures. As a wife and mother now, decades later, I more realistically focus on the sacrifice portion of his extended service. I am so grateful for his and other soldiers service and sacrifices. I’m grateful to his family for sacrificing their time with him. He’s pictured below with his family, at his retirement ceremony last week. Well done Brother Mike! You are an all-American hero and your sister, Karmy, is so proud of you!! Thank you bro!
He’s also pictured with my parents above. My dad, Rich Greene, served in Vietnam and my brother Ryan also served in the Navy, continuing a tradition of serving in our family, including my mother’s father, Harry Tokos, in WWII. I’m putting together a commemoration wall in our home, of all of our family who have served our nation. A highlight of the wall will be two ancestors, brothers, in their civil war uniforms, ancestors on my mother’s side. I’ll share another post once it is completed.
I’m sharing this video with my children tonight for Family Home Evening. It’s a power-packed video that encapsulates well, what I hope my children glean from the Memorial Day Holiday.
From Military.com, here are some ideas to engage with your children on Memorial Day to celebrate the intention of the holiday in addition to the fun BBQ’s, camp outs, parties and parades.
The simplest thing you can do to explain and honor this holiday with your children is to spend time talking to them about what Memorial Day means to you. Take the day to talk & reflect on the subject of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Honor and Respect
Visit a local Veteran’s cemetery. Almost every community has some sort of a war memorial.
Visit and Pay Tribute
Take cookies, books, or movies to a nearby Veteran’s hospital.
Celebrate with a Parade
Go to a Memorial Day parade. To find one near you visit vetfriends.com. Or, watch the National Memorial Day Parade on television.
This link provides kids an online scavenger hunt that helps them learn about the history of Memorial Day.
Recognize our Heroes
Teach your children about medals of honor. You can print a Medal of Honor coloring book and learn the history behind our brave Soldiers.
Educate with History
Watch a movie and learn some history about famous battles of the past. The History Channel and The Military Channel have many shows that might fit this bill.
Create with Crafts
Visit enchantedlearning.com and find Memorial Day coloring pages, craft projects, word searches, quizzes and more.
Break Bread Together
Allrecipes.com has some great Memorial Day recipes for the holiday.
Make a Soldier’s Day
Have your children create a card or picture to be sent overseas to a Soldier currently at war.