Honoring Memorial Day

Last night, Ryan and I were talking about our plans for the upcoming three-day weekend of Memorial Day. Ryan asked, “Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?” so naturally, I turned to Google for some information!

Of course, I knew that the day commemorates soldiers who lost their lives fighting for Americans to be free.  But further research taught us that initially, this was a day designated to honor those lost specifically during the Civil War. It wasn’t until after World War I that the intention of the day was modified to include all who lost their lives in any conflict the US faced. And it was not until 1970 that the last Monday of May was selected to be Memorial Day!

mem day history

A vintage memorial day ad from 1917.

After our search, we talked about why those soldiers were willing to go into battle even if it meant that they would lose their lives. They wanted to make sure that the US was free, whether it was from the tyranny of slavery or from the dictator Hitler. We discussed how important it is for us to be grateful to all of those who lost their lives, and decided that when we go to the cemetery this weekend, we’ll visit the graves of some soldiers and say a special prayer.

I share this story with you as it is an example of how “teachable” moments can come throughout the day. I try to take advantage of as many of them as possible and Ryan likes these opportunities as much as I do. He is focused and is always eager to learn about the topic.

Certainly, this desire to learn about everything can backfire: I will never forget the time that Ryan was overly focused on “electric chairs” and I found him watching an execution during the middle of the night!  Still, there have been far more positive learning experiences than incidents like this!

I wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day!


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