Happy Veterans Day weekend to you, RMT’ers!
OK, so perhaps my headline seems a bit idealistic to some, given that there may not be a throng of kids asking why they don’t have to go to school Monday (including your own children). However, since my son is just five-years-old, this honestly is still the sort of question we get around here when routine – and school, which he LOVES – is interrupted. T wants to know the how and why behind many things (OK, everything!), including Monday’s school holiday.
Which got me thinking… what is a short, sweet way to explain Veterans Day to our kids? To start, it’s best to have a firm grasp of the difference between Memorial Day and today’s holiday. While Memorial Day is considered America’s national holiday in tribute to our fallen soldiers, Veterans Day is more of a national holiday and celebration of ALL service men and women – living and deceased, active and retired – here in this great land of ours. It also coincides with other holidays around the world such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which other countries celebrate to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I (though you might wish to save that part of the explanation for the older kids in your family, ones who have begun studying up on their war history already).
In addition, I discovered this blog post by Trekaroo, Along with covering the basic history mentioned above, the post contains some great practical tips for us parents. First, keep it simple when explaining historical dates to your kids; keep it age-appropriate, and answer only what the child asks. In fact, sometimes we don’t need to explain much at all really. In fact, if we are able to show our kids what a holiday like this is all about, even better. Maybe you can take the kids to a local Veterans Day parade to let them see the proud soldiers who have served or are serving in the military, people from your own neighborhoods and communities? Or maybe there are local projects you can get involved in directly related to the holiday? And if not, or by the time you’ve sat down to read this your Veterans Day parade has already passed you by, sometimes just sitting down with an age-appropriate book together with your kids does the trick (this one looks perfect for the Pre-K and Kindergarten set for this weekend’s holiday).
Oh that reminds me – we have a great book that covers a few of the not-as-major holidays all year long! Just too bad it doesn’t cover Veterans Day (though it does cover Memorial Day for those who, like me, need a refresher on the difference from time to time).
For those in the Long Beach, CA, area, the Veterans Day parade is TODAY Saturday November 10, 2012. I’ve tried to find the dates for other Southern California parades, but other than this PDF calendar for Veterans Day activities and parades statewide in California, and this link for the information on Monday’s parade in San Diego, I am coming up little to no details for the greater Los Angeles area. I can’t believe that there aren’t other parades or activities going on this weekend around town; it just doesn’t seem possible.
RMT’ers, please share what’s going on in your neighborhoods and communities so we can get out and thank our military men and women for all they do! And if you can’t make a parade this weekend, then be sure to personally give thanks whenever possible to and for our men and women in uniform, this weekend and any day!
Have a great weekend however you spend it – and enjoy the day off if you get it Monday!