Two years ago, I wrote a Memorial Day-themed blog. Big Universe Learning had lots of books that would make perfect companion pieces for those exploring the history of our nation. I reread the blog this morning, and although the message is two years old, there is little I would change.
It’s still important to teach our children about their heritage. Part of character development involves promoting their ability to adopt an attitude of thankfulness and to understand what paying tribute entails. The main players in the “Hunger Games” series were called “tributes,” and the citizens of different districts expressed their gratitude and respect to lead character Katniss Everdeen by pressing three fingers to their lips and silently lifting their salute of tribute high.
So, in my heart I do the same. I am praying for a loved one, who is on his second tour in Afghanistan. He wants to come home. He’s ready to see his wife and three children after a yearlong separation. I salute you, sir, and am reposting my 2010 Memorial Day Big Universe blog “Memorial Day Books: Lessons to be Learned” in your honor.
“It’s Memorial Day Weekend – a great opportunity to teach our children about service, honor, commitment, bravery and patriotism. It’s a chance to explain that not all heroes wear sneakers.
While the swimming, grilling and family time are all great fun and have their place, take the time to teach your children about being thankful for freedom and grateful to those who have served in the military on behalf of our nation and for the freedom of others around the world.
My brother Barry served in the Navy, my father is a World War II veteran, and my grandfather volunteered as an ambulance driver in France with the American Ambulance Field Service during the “Great War.”
My brother-in-law is a Marine pilot and flew two tours in Iraq, and my niece Jenny and her husband are Marines, too. The sons and daughters of many friends are in Afghanistan or stationed elsewhere around the globe. While an undergrad, my husband was the recipient of the Arthur G. Morrell Memorial Scholarship. It was established in memory of a young Marine Harrier pilot, who died serving his country.
To all of you…thank you from the bottom of my heart.
If this strikes a chord with you, I encourage you to take time to talk to your children. Help instill an appreciation for those who serve our country now and for the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Place a flag. Write a letter. Say a prayer.
Here are some excellent children’s books just added to Big Universe’s online picture book library that will help your child learn some history and geography, increase his or her vocabulary, and understand what it means to pay tribute.
- “Arlington National Cemetery” by Jennifer Burrows. Interest level: 9-12. Grade 4-5. Reading Level: S. (Rourke Publishing)
- “World War I Memorial” by Maureen Robins. Interest level: 9-12. Grade 4-5. Reading level: S. (Rourke)
- “World War II Memorial” by Maureen Robins. Interest level: 9-12. Grade 4-5. Reading level: S. (Rourke)
- “USS Arizona Memorial” by Maureen Robins. Interest level: 9-12. Grade 4-5. Reading level: S. (Rourke)
- “Korean War Memorial” by Jennifer Burrows. Interest level: 9-12. Grade 4-5. Reading level: S. (Rourke)
- “Vietnam War Memorial” by Jennifer Burrows. Interest level: 9-12. Grade 4-5. Reading level: S. (Rourke)"
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melodie Beattie