Helping Your Children Understand and Celebrate Memorial Day

Helping Your Children Understand and Celebrate Memorial Day

At my Dad’s memorial service, the Army color guard played taps, they folded up an American Flag, got on one knee, handed the flag to his wife and said something close to these words, “On behalf of the President of the United States and a grateful nation this flag is presented to you.” Dad fought in World War 2. He was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and received a Purple Heart. He seldom ever talked about it. He never really thought his sacrifice for his country was that big of a deal. I remember him saying, “That’s just what you do for the price of freedom.”

Today, on Memorial Day, we American’s pause with deep gratitude for the incredible sacrifice of all our veterans. These extraordinary heroes have kept our nation free and safe. Not only are we grateful for their sacrifice but I believe it’s important to teach the meaning of Memorial Day to our children.

Here is an a helpful excerpt from an article on Commemorating Memorial Day with Kids from

To many Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer and is an excuse to get out and barbeque and go camping, but to military families the meaning runs much deeper than a casual barbeque. We want our children to understand why Memorial Day is a holiday and what it means to our country’s history and our warriors’ families.

The simplest thing you can do to explain and honor this holiday with your children is to spend time talking to them about what Memorial Day means to you. Take the day to talk & reflect on the subject of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Honor and Respect

Visit a local Veteran’s cemetery. Almost every community has some sort of a war memorial.

Visit and Pay Tribute

Take cookies, books, or movies to a nearby Veteran’s hospital.

Celebrate with a Parade

Go to a Memorial Day parade. To find one near you visit Or, watch the National Memorial Day Parade on television.

Scavenger Hunt

This link provides kids an online scavenger hunt that helps them learn about the history of Memorial Day.

Recognize our Heroes

Teach your children about medals of honor. You can print a Medal of Honor coloring book and learn the history behind our brave Soldiers.

Educate with History

Watch a movie and learn some history about famous battles of the past. The History Channel and The Military Channel have many shows that might fit this bill.

Create with Crafts

Visit and find Memorial Day coloring pages, craft projects, word searches, quizzes and more.

Break Bread Together has some great Memorial Day recipes for the holiday.

Make a Service Member’s Day

Have your children create a card or picture to be sent overseas to a Soldier currently at war.

Help us reach the next generation of families

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

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