Want to make Memorial Day meaningful? If you and the family are staying closer to home on Monday, there are still ways to activate an appreciation of Memorial Day in your children.
Here's a short list of family-friendly activities to make the holiday full of gratitude for the men and women who serve for love of country. We hope this list inspires discussion and creativity in your family this holiday weekend!
1. Fly the Colors. If you have a flag at home, kids can help raise it. Traditionally, it's flown at half-staff in the morning to remember those who gave their lives in service to the country. At noon, the flag is raised to full-staff for the rest of the day to honor the living who resolve not to let others' sacrifices be in vain.
If you don't have your own Old Glory, have your kids make a flag, either with construction paper or paint, and you can put it in your front window.
2. Write thank-you cards and letters. It only takes a few minutes, but can mean a world of difference to a soldier overseas away from his or her family.
For ideas, check out these thank-you samples from A Million Thanks, an amazing nonprofit that is coordinating a military-appreciation effort.
Or you can also send an e-card via Shutterfly.
3. Make a care package. Family and friends may send care packages to servicemembers if they have a name and address. From crackers to toiletries, sunscreen to blank notecards with envelopes, the list of items commonly requested by soldiers can guide your choices.
The general public cannot on own their send care packages to deployed servicemembers as they did in past conflicts. But you can go online to the USO's Wishbook page and pick from a whole array of gift items and packages in various price ranges that they will send for you.
4. Host a lemonade stand or bake sale. Raise money in your neighborhood to help military families by baking goodies or having an old-fashioned lemonade stand.
Many good organizations help military families, but here are just a couple of Washington-based groups your kids could donate to:
Operation Military Family, based in Edmonds helps support military families
Outdoors for All, a national leader in providing recreation for people including disabled veterans