Monday, May 31, 2010

Let's make it a real Memorial Day, k?

I'm so looking forward to enjoying family time today, the first holiday in what feels like forever. I've been reading up on Memorial Day because I want to talk to the kids about what it means. It was started to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War, and expanded to include others after WWI. It became a three-day-weekend holiday in 1971, which some people felt undermined the meaning of the day. That's easy to see; the commemorative aspect gets totally lost amidst all the beach jaunts and barbecues, doesn't it?

I'll bet if Jay Leno did one of his Jaywalking skits and asked people on the street what the holiday memorializes, a bunch of them would have no clue. (For the record, I am a Dave Letterman devotee; Jaywalking is pretty much the only Jay Leno thing I can tolerate.)

The kids may be a little young to understand the significance of this day, but in between scooter rides, hot dogs and dips in the ocean, I'm going to give it a shot.


  1. I hope you, Dave & family have a great time this Memorial Day. I believe your kids will learn the true meaning of this day sooner than you think: They're quite bright the way I see it.

    Talk soon - Rich

  2. I always try to make sure my kids "get it" too. Especially holidays like this which only exist because someone (a lot of someones) sacrificed their life.

    Glad to hear you are, too:)

  3. Hope you guys have a wonderful day!

  4. I am a Letterman fan, too, when I get a chance to enjoy late night tv! I also like that whacky Conan O'Brien in small doses (though he's off the air for the time being) and Craig Ferguson--who is too smart for his audience sometimes, but funny as all get-out.

    Next year, if you think the kids are old enough, you might take them to a remembrance ceremony. Some towns have observances at local cemeteries--if you have a relative who served, you can go to their grave and the VFW or AL would have put a fresh new flag next to their marker.

    A lot of people are completely clueless about the day--well meaning, though, most of them. They think it's in honor of all troops (Veteran's Day), but it's really only for the memorialization of the dead ones....which is why one shouldn't say "Happy Memorial Day" to a servicemember on active duty!

  5. Love seeing your children on the scooter! Such a neat motor skill.

    Young children might understand best in the context of remembering one person and talking about them. As Felicia said, taking them to a ceremony when you feel they are ready is good, too.

    (I won't give Letterman any screen time in my home based on his poor personal choices.)

  6. You're so good! I'm sure your kids will get a wise lesson on Memorial Day! And for the record, a very good friend of mine works as a writer for Jay Leno and does all the jaywalking skits -- I'll let him know that you think Memorial Day would be a good one --

  7. We did the same thing. Now that my kids are 8 and 5, I think they are at the age we could pass on a lot of life's great lessons, including the reason for memorial day. We also went to the community parade and talked about it after. They were both curious about the soldiers in the parade, and bless them they were in full gear on this hot 90 degree morning.

    Great experiencce


Thanks for sharing!

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