With Memorial Day, all of us are reminded of those men and women in the military who gave their lives in the service of their country. Usually we experience special commemorative ceremonies in our communities. We ordinarily pass by cemeteries dotted with beautiful flowers, flags and other symbols of bravery and faith. But this is a unique time in our country and in the world due to Covid-19.
Sometimes we confuse Memorial Day with Veteran's Day, which occurs on Nov. 11 of this year. Both holidays honor those who have served in the armed forces. Veterans Day, however, celebrates the service of all men and women in the military. Memorial Day remembers those who gave their lives in performing that service.
Stop and be grateful
This is not a typical topic we address when targeting dads and their children. But we think it is important as a way of grounding our kids, reminding them that they enjoy their benefits because of those who fought and died to preserve our way of life.
It's easy for us to take life for granted. Now, more than ever, we recognize the specialness of life. So often we have run through our days from appointment to appointment, meeting to meeting, meal to meal only to fall into bed and run another race tomorrow.
Memorial Day is the bugler's call to each of us to stop and return to the quiet of our minds. It is a sacred and grand pause in our ordinarily hurry-scurry lives to think about and honor those whose presence with us was snuffed out, often much too soon, in defense of our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Sacrifice for country
How about rallying the troops at home and asking for deactivation of all e-devices—reminding your kids how fortunate they are to live in a free country? How about remembering someone in your own family who served and died in the military and taking a moment to honor them?
Service to community
Now, take it a step further, dad. Young people need to know the importance of service to their country and community. While Memorial Day focuses on the armed services, ask your kids to think of ways they might serve others in this time of national need. Whether it's a distant connection with a nursing home, or checking on a neighbor, or helping someone bring home some groceries, volunteering for a food bank, bringing needed supplies or treats to first responders, or writing letters to those who are shut in, let's try to help our kids understand that they have the power and the responsibility to bring a little happiness to those to whom freedom means just another day to survive.