Today our entire student body celebrated Memorial Day in advance of Monday’s holiday. We met K-5 outside around the flagpoles and had a brief ceremony that provided students with background information and culminated with the singing of “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” After that was the community building assembly for students in preschool through grade 5, and then the preschoolers had a separate, shorter, ceremony around the flagpoles.
As I think about Memorial Day I wonder if children realize the importance of our national, non-religious holidays? As an elementary school we walk a fine line between teaching them the facts about history, war, death, and destruction, and not scaring and/or worrying them. Memorial Day falls on that fine line. We provide the basics, the background knowledge they accumulate little by little, year after year, so they can grasp the larger concepts in middle and high school.
So, as you bar-be-que, celebrate, and watch parades this weekend, think about how you can talk to your child/children about our national holidays. What do they know, and more importantly, what do they have questions about? Enjoy the long weekend!