Monday, May 25, 2015

Pause to Remember

On Saturday afternoon, I sat down with Will and Hallie to talk about Memorial Day.

"Do you remember why we celebrate Memorial Day?", I asked.

Hallie: "What's Memorial Day?"

Apparently last year's lesson went in one ear and out the other.

Will: "To celebrate our army? Hearts for Heroes?"

Closer, yet still a little off. And what is Hearts for Heroes?

Because so many Americans (close to 80%, according to the National World War II Museum and including my children) don't know the true meaning of Memorial Day, in December of 2000 Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance. Americans are asked to pause for one minute at 3pm to remember those who lost their lives and honor their sacrifice on behalf of our country.

As we contemplate the comforts and blessings of our lives and the well-being of our nation, I ask you to pause just for a moment to remember those who gave their lives to protect the values that give meaning to our lives.    ~ President William J. Clinton

Memorial Day often ends up looking kind of like a "regular" Monday in our house. The kids don't have school, but because Tom almost always still works, we don't travel or get together with friends. I spend a little time, usually over dinner, talking with the kids about what makes that particular day special, but it seems clear, given their answers to my basic Memorial Day question last Saturday, that past years' conversations haven't made much of an impact. Perhaps a moment of action - or a momentary break in the action, depending on what we're up to - will help Will and Hallie remember the meaning of the holiday and all of us honor those who courageously and selflessly made sacrifices in the name of the American Dream.

Won't you join us?

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