“Look Daddy! I made these flowers to remember people who died for me.”
It can be difficult to fully express the gravity of Memorial Day to young children, and before this year I would have thought my five-year-old to be too young. After suffering the loss of my mother earlier this year, my family has a renewed appreciation for the true sense of loss families must feel this weekend. While it is often a weekend filled with BBQs, celebration and merriment, we must not forget the true spirit of Memorial Day. Whether you recently lost a loved one, or more time has passed, the sadness that comes along with the loss of a loved one never goes away. Setting aside dedicated time to remember those loved ones helps to honor and celebrate their lives.
One way to respect and honor fallen heroes with the children in your life is through arts and crafts. The Poppy has a long-standing history as a symbol of remembrance to those who have lost their lives in service to our nation and crafting a poppy together can start the conversation around Memorial Day and its meaning.
If you don’t have all the supplies on hand, please share ways that you got creative! Without buttons, we crafted with poms and used cupcake liners instead of coffee filters. Cutting plain white paper into two sized circles can also offer the same effect.
After crafting your poppies, dedicating a #PoppyInMemory online by visiting USAA’s virtual poppy wall can continue the conversation around those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Cascading images of dedicated poppies reinforce the number of those who have given their lives to defend our freedom. Honor others who have given their lives in military service by reading and sharing their stories.
How do you talk to your children about Memorial Day? We would love to hear other ways you help instill the importance of Memorial Day.
About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (5 and 3 years), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.
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