With COVID-19 still sweeping through the US, you can expect that this will be a Memorial Day like none other. This year, for the first time since 1946, the Indianapolis 500 won’t run on Memorial Day, and states are canceling events left and right. But that doesn’t mean you and your family are without recourse for the three-day weekend.
This year, you should take some time to teach your kids about what the holiday is all about: the people who gave their lives so we can be free here in the US. Here are three activities you can do at home to not only help your kids learn but get them into the spirit of the holiday.
Get the history books out.
It is super easy to forget why we celebrate Memorial Day. As George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” There are plenty of videos online and books you can download that teach kids about the sacrifices that were made. If you’ve had parents or relatives serve, this is a great chance to dive into family history and connect your children with past generations. Talk about great-granddad’s service in World War II or grandma’s time in the marines. A familial connection will bring the holiday and history alive.
Send a letter to a soldier overseas.
A care package or even a simple thank-you letter could mean the world to a soldier who works hard to protect our freedoms, especially if they are overseas and far from their own families. It’s the perfect way to show appreciation. If you don’t know anyone who is currently serving, there are plenty of nonprofit organizations that have dedicated their time to this effort, such as Any Soldier, A Million Thanks, and the USO Care Package program.
Watch a parade.
Parades and Memorial Day go hand in hand. Unfortunately, just like the Indi 500, parades have been put on hold for the time being. Thanks to the internet, though, you and your family can still enjoy a memorial parade online. Get your kids together in the living room, turn on the computer, and watch a parade from yesteryear. You can find many on YouTube, or perhaps you have a recording of one you’ve personally attended.
This will truly be a Memorial Day unlike any other, and we’ll remember it for years to come. It’s up to you how you and your children will remember this one. Take these three suggestions, or apply a little imagination to make memories your families will cherish forever.