Kids and Veterans on Memorial Day

May 30th, 2011

I think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer beach season. It wasn’t until my dear brother made a comment about “no one remembering veterans anymore” that I realized Memorial Day could be yet another “teachable moment” with my kids.

When I told my eight-year-old son we were going to watch the Veteran’s Day observance in Rehoboth Beach, he grumbled and groaned. I wasn’t surprised. What kid in his right mind wants to go to something called an “observance” when the sun, sand and boardwalk amusements beckon?

Maybe if he had known a veteran would give him one of the shells fired off in the salute, he would have argued less.

Perhaps if he realized that a World War II veteran would tell him, “Yes, I remember FDR! Of course!” it would make his first big oral book report — due this week —  that much more interesting.

Or had he known that a reporter for the local newspaper would interview him, my idea for the outing might have seemed more exciting.

But in the end, what mattered most to me was not the arguing beforehand, but what he said after the ceremony ended.

“Thank you,” he said to the veterans.

And to me, he said, “Thanks, Mom, I’m glad we came.”

What did you do on Memorial Day? If you didn’t observe the day with veterans, do you plan to next year? Please leave a comment and share!

— Lynn

This Memorial Day, Remember Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

May 31st, 2010


Thought you’d find another “keep it green” post here, huh? I’ve done that before.

But what I hadn’t done until recently is realize how few people actually take the time to truly commemorate Memorial Day.

Of course, every holiday is a bit like that. The religious complain that Christ has been left out of Christmas. Thanksgiving, for some,  is just a prelude to “Black Friday.” And Memorial Day…well, it’s the official launch of summer.

The beach beckons.


Coolers must be filled.

Grills must be fired up.


But it’s also a time when veterans, and those who love and respect them,  come together to honor the ultimate sacrifice – laying their lives on the line for this country.


Today,  just steps from a busy boardwalk, I observed a sparsely attended ceremony honoring those who fought battles  long ago…and the battles of today.


I wasn’t surprised to hear the Master Sargeant from Dover Air Force Base talking about receiving fallen soldiers from overseas, but I was a bit surprised to hear him talk about a time in the future, a time “when our  youth are no longer asked to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

Too late to visit a wreath laying in your community?  If you do nothing else, consider donating to the Memorial Day Donation Challenge  from Paralyzed Veterans of America (donations are doubled up through today). And be sure to head on over to Twilight Earth to read this poignant post from DC green guy Adam Shake, a veteran of the war in Bosnia.

— Lynn

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