Memorial Day, nearly on the heels of Mother’s Day and prior to the summer celebrations of both Father’s Day and Fourth of July, is a celebration of remembrance and thankfulness. It is a time to reminisce with our daughters and family about missed family and friends and the sacrifices of others in the fight for our freedom and the freedom of others over the years.
Many adults today have the shared experience of being familiar with grandparents who served in World War II (WWII) or perhaps Korea or Vietnam and other conflicts. While we may also have a grasp of current wars, it is possible that in this day and age topics of war are not as prevalent in the news as they were when we or our parents were children. It is taken for granted that we have a military and that there are still wars. Our busy lives have replaced the evening news with a multitude of other activities where we are less informed as a family.
Although not as many die as in the wars of days past, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea or Vietnam and many other wars and conflicts before, during and after these times, there is still death or injury. Communities in the middle of conflict suffer their own casualties and losses of home. Men and women who return alive from war still suffer indignities for their contribution in the midst of controversy for and against war.
As women in a world where they are more a part of war then they were in the past we need to make sure our daughters are aware of world news and international conflict. What will it mean to them in their daily lives today and in the future? In what ways will they respond for or against war? How will we educate them on war?
Memorial Day offers an opportunity to begin an education on America’s history with war. Tell the tale of family members who fought in many of America’s wars. Many will have a member in a number of wars over time. It will speak to the commonness of man and war, a struggle for freedom and peace.
If you are not American your country may have its own story that you will share with your daughter on another day that is set aside to remember. It is important to know that each community has had its own struggles and that whatever your nationality, your life experience matters to your daughter.
Recommended reading for Memorial Day at your library or Amazon: