Sharing the Meaning of Memorial Day with Young and Old Alike

Posted by Tara, Ziptivity’s Metro Boston Community Ambassador

Every holiday, I feel like I’m struggling to teach my children the true meaning of the celebration amid the candy displays, gift expectations, cheesy decorations, and holiday sales. Memorial Day is no different – my kids probably think of it as just a day off from school, made for barbecuing and hiking. I found an article on Military.com written by Army wife Tara Crooks, who has some terrific ideas for celebrating Memorial Day in a meaningful way, including activities such as creating a care package to send to military personnel overseas to watching educational programs about our history. I recommend checking it out.

Two other activities suggested in the article are celebrating at a parade or visiting a local Veterans’ cemetery. You can do both on Monday, May 30th in Cambridge, Arlington, and Watertown. The one in Cambridge sounds especially nice: The Cambridge Veterans’ Organization (CVO) and Cambridge Veterans’ Services will begin their parade with a cannon salute by the MA Bicentennial Battery at 9:30 a.m. on the Cambridge Common. The parade will proceed through Harvard Square, up Mount Auburn Street to Coolidge Avenue, and end at the Cambridge Cemetery on Coolidge Avenue. Following the parade, there will be a Memorial Day Observance at the cemetery, featuring music and a rifle salute.

Another great idea is to bring items for patients to a local Veterans’ hospital. Magazines, cookies and clothing can go a long way toward providing comfort to the patients. For giving and volunteering opportunities in the VA Boston Healthcare System, visit this webpage.

In the article, there are links to craft project ideas, recipes – even a scavenger hunt! But the best piece of advice Tara Crooks gives is to just take the time to talk with your kids about what Memorial Day means to you. As I think of my grandfather who is retired from the Army, my cousin who is in the Air Force, and my nephew who is on the front lines right now, I realize that I have plenty to say to my kids about the sacrifices made by women and men in uniform and their families.  Whether you have a conversation, cheer in a parade, or bring comfort to patients in a Veterans’ Hospital, or participate in a memorial service, I hope you and your children are able to find meaning in the Memorial Day holiday.

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