This weekend and this week coming up in the USA we’re celebrating Memorial Day. As a result, this week I’ve been thinking about remembering. I’ve got great memories from growing up and traveling with my family, staying with grandparents and rainstorms. Here in America this month we’re remembering the soldiers who have fought with Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day.
It’s not easy to talk with kids about war and death, and it can be hard for children to visit cemeteries where relatives are buried, especially some of the big ones where hundreds or thousands of veterans are. But you know what? It’s something I look forward to doing with my kids some day; bringing them to visit my grandfather’s grave and telling them about the great man he was, and how he was a soldier for America.
Remembering isn’t at all about telling depressing stories of soldiers who fought and died, of relatives who are dead or things that didn’t happen the way you wanted them to. Remembering is about sharing love, telling stories and connecting kids (and people of any age), with the past. You don’t have to dwell on the fact that they’re dead. You can talk about the fun things you did as a family together, you can share your great memories of growing up with relatives, and you can make new memories with your children through the stories of their ancestors.
Everyone has a story, but you have the choice of how to remember and tell that story. What story will you tell your kids about the soldiers you know and love in honor of Memorial Day?