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3 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

May 26, 2014

By Jessica Vician

American flags decorate the graves at Arlington National Cemetery.

On the last Monday of May, Americans celebrate Memorial Day.

Memorial Day isn’t just a day off from work and school. It honors the more than 1.3 million soldiers who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Your family can honor those who died serving our country in three important ways:

  1. Teach. Teach your child about the reason for the holiday. Here are some helpful facts:
    • Memorial Day has been celebrated in some form since 1862 during the Civil War, when General John A. Logan named May 30th Decoration Day.
    • For over a hundred years, on Decoration Day, citizens would decorate the graves of those who died defending the U.S.
    • In 1971, the U.S. government deemed the last Monday of May a federal holiday and renamed it Memorial Day.
  2. Honor. Many cemeteries have war memorials to honor those who died during military service. After you have explained the meaning of Memorial Day, take your child to a nearby war memorial to pay your respects.
  3. Celebrate. Once your child knows why we honor and celebrate Memorial Day and has paid his or her respects to the soldiers who died for our country, celebrate their legacy by attending a Memorial Day parade.

    For a parade near you, visit Vet Friends.

How do you honor our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day? Tell us in the comments below or in the forum.

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