Helping Kids Understand Memorial Day
Do you know why we observe Memorial Day? Do you know the difference between Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and Armed Forces Day? Many people confuse the meanings of these holidays and don’t know why we really celebrate them. Teach kids that there is more to the three day weekend than barbecues and the beginning of summer.
Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May to commemorate and honor men and women who have died while serving in the US military. Decoration Day originally only honored soldiers lost in the Civil War, but it became Memorial Day after WWI to commemorate military personnel lost in all US wars.
Veteran’s Day, November 11, is a day to honor American veterans of all wars for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to sacrifice for our country. The holiday was originally Armistice Day, the day fighting ceased between allied nations and Germany during WWI, that went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. November 11, 1918 is officially known as the end of the War to End All Wars.
Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day, observed on the third Saturday in May, to honor and acknowledge Americans in the armed forces during times of war and peace. It was started to recognize the unification of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard under one department, the Department of Defense.
Other article you might like:
- Stories to Tell: Learning from Oral History
- You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of the Military Spouse
- Real Teen Read: Code Name Verity
- Real Teen Read: All Quiet on the Western Front
Below are some of our favorite children’s books related to these holidays. If you have any suggestions to add to our list, let us know in the comments. Enjoy your holiday!
Thank you to all who serve and to the families who support them on the home front.
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Books for Memorial Day
- America’s White Table
- The Wednesday Wars
- Park’s Quest
- The Wall (Reading Rainbow Books)
- The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans
- Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion
- Soldier’s Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers
- Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood
- A Paper Hug
- Hero Dad
- H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet
- Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond Between a Soldier and His Service Dog
- Rags: Hero Dog of WWI: A True Story