Memorial Day: More than just a day off

For a lot of us, Memorial Day means picnics, maybe a trip out of town, and a three-day weekend. Heck, there are even sales to hit, judging by all the advertising fliers and TV and radio ads. Hmm, do we need a new mattress?

But what do our kids think this holiday is about? And do we even know how to really explain it? (I didn’t know that a national moment of remembrance is observed at 3 p.m. local time, or that the flag is supposed to be flown at half-staff until noon, then raised to full staff until sunset.)

If you’re looking for a local event to attend, The Seattle Times has a list of Memorial Day programs. And here are some links to resources for kids:

The National Education Association offers lesson plans that you could use with your kids. offers this list of Memorial Day books for elementary students.

• If you’re looking to discuss the impact of war with older kids, a starting place might be this fact sheet from the Department of Veterans Affairs that lists each American conflict and the number of casualties.

• The VA also has these resources about Memorial Day.

Add your comment: