Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

It's been years since my husband has had the day off for Memorial Day. Years. And since we homeschool, it's not a holiday for the rest of us, either. So I've always sort of struggled with this day - do we take the day off (we don't really need to), do I spend it as a regular school day or take extra time to learn about the "why" of this holiday. I think I've done all of the above, most of the time.

Since it has been and will be wet and rainy for (ever) a long time, I don't think we'll venture out to any cemeteries, at least not on foot. In the past, looking for war memorials was one way to bring home what war ends up being for most soldiers. Remember, I was a young child during Vietnam and what I remember about that war were the protests and people dying. However, my Dad and Stepdad served in Korea, and taught me respect for military and being thankful for the brave people who serve. As a result, I teach my kids all these things.

My boys are fascinated by the history of the wars we've fought in, as well as battles in other countries. It's a boy/guy thing I guess, as my Dad was the same way. I suppose that's what gives so many boys/men the bravery/nerve to go into battle the way they do. Yes, I know women serve on the front line as well but I'm talking about my sons at the moment. Anyway, I wish (oh, how I wish) my Dad had lived to see my sons, to share stories with them, to talk about war planes and hear of his stateside experiences (he never saw combat, praise God). My Stepdad visited with my sons a few times but not enough. He did fight in battles but hesitated to talk about them, which is understandable. Good, strong, brave men, George and Richard were. Perhaps that's who I'll talk about tomorrow with my kids - their maternal grandfathers. Though Dad and Richard were both humble and probably wouldn't want all that attention. Oh, man, I better stop writing about them, the tears are flowing.

Boy, this post sure deviated from the original idea. It can't be helped - Memorial Day means more than just honoring our brave. For me, it also means remembering two wonderful men in my life. I will always miss them.


Cate said...

Sounds like you have devised the perfect "lesson" for Memorial Day.

And it is VERY wet and stormy here as I write this at 6.15am!

Vicki said...

I, too, wish that my son had been able to meet his one grandfather who passed before he was born.

My son was all military until the reality of war came home. Once the towers fell, he said he just wanted to play military but he would switch his career to game design so that all those children, who lost their dads, would have something to help cheer them up. He was five at the time.

War is hard. Memorial Day, a day to remember, is well earned and deserved.

Thank you for the great post!

Mama Self said...

Hope your Memorial Day turned out good for the whole family. There's something great about teaching our children the importance of remembering our history with respect, as we hope that they will see the importance of being good citizens and not taking their blessings for granted.

We are going to start our summer cooking with the boys again. Randy especially wants to cook so he can know as much as possible before culinary school (7 years from now!). The way I do things, he'll have to re-learn them the right way later! :)