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Remember Why It's Memorial Day

Memorial Day is more than just a reason to have a cookout. Teach your children the sentiment and meaning of the holiday.

Not enough kids know the true meaning of Memorial Day. This past week, I asked 10 kids between the ages of eight and 14 to tell me what Memorial Day means. Two of them answered correctly.

As parents, if we adopt the attitude that the economy is a mess because of America's involvement in the Middle East and that we're just too busy trying to make ends meet to explain Memorial Day, then we deny our children a future of hope and pride for patriotism.  

Parents have always been "busy" through many generations including the hardship of the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War, yet it seems yesterday's parents and children understood and felt a more genuine respect for Memorial Day.

It is up to each one of us to reignite the significance of the day. It's easily done when we hear from individuals who have put their lives on the line for the betterment of our country.

"Memorial Day is a time for reflection for Americans and a time for those of us in the service to remember those who came before us and to honor their legacies," says Captain Josh Bell who was deployed to Iraq for a year in 2010.

"It is a time for Americans also to say thank you for the men and women both close by and overseas who dedicate their lives to serving this great country. I am proud to say I have served my country and take pride--especially this weekend, in the Red White and Blue, says Bell. "God Bless our military services men and women," adds Bell who is now home for good, safe and sound.  

As a community, we must consider the sacrifices others make to support our country. Captain Bell's fiance Asheley Franklin, a teacher and coach at West Forsyth High School, spent many days and nights wondering and worrying about her fiance all while teaching and coaching the high school swim team with steadfast dedication. 

"I feel an overwhelming sense of pride and thankfulness for those men and women who serve our country," says Franklin. "Memorial Day is a time to reflect and say thank you to all those men and women who protect our freedoms."

"I am so proud of my soldier and thankful that God blesses this great country with such brave men and women," added Franklin.

Behind the scenes and overseas, having pride in our country now more than ever will largely define future generations in terms of patriotism and America's freedoms. 

It's reassuring to know that one teacher and her soldier know how to convey that pride to our community, making the future look quite bright in the face of difficult times.

Be a part of the positive force that drives our nation. Tell your children what Memorial Day means and why it matters so much.

Tim May 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM
Any day is a good day to thank someone currently serving in the military or a veteran. However, even in this article, it is demonstrated that the true meaning of Memorial Day is still lost on you and Mr. Bell. Memorial Day is the one day that is specifically set aside for those people that DIED while in military service to this country. Not those that served or are currently serving. We have Veteran's Day and Armed Services Day for those purposes. Anytime we start discussing current military or living veterans on this day we dishonor those that gave their lives for our country. This is their one day and no one else's.
Kristen Berry May 30, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Tim, I truly don't believe the fallen or their family members would feel "dishonored" about people expressing gratitude on Memorial Day to those who continue to put their lives on the line for our (yours included) freedoms. We never know when we may lose our next hero. Thus, Memorial Day carries highly personal sentiments for all Americans, and it's important to esteem everyone's way of honoring the day. Respectfully, Kristen
leslie Eversole May 31, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Kristen, thank you so much for your Memorial Day article. We as parents should take the time to explain to our children the true meaning of Memorial Day. Every day is a good day to thank a member of our armed services as well as their family for the sacrifice. Les
Kristen Berry June 01, 2011 at 09:52 PM
Leslie, Thank you for the comment. It's good to hear from a reader like you...
Tabitha Davidson August 03, 2011 at 01:11 PM
I believe this gentleman has a better understanding of the true meaning of Memorial Day: http://cumming.patch.com/blog_posts/memorial-day-remember . There is a reason Memorial Day is just that--"MEMORIAL" day. While I don't believe it dishonors the fallen by thanking current military/veterans on Memorial Day, I do believe that the focus should be on those who lost their lives for our freedom.

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