I was talking with a friend at church yesterday about our Memorial Day plans. She asked what we were doing and I shared that we’ll be visiting the cemetery.  She looked a little bit confused for a second so I went on to explain that I like to use it as a teachable moment with my kids. We don’t have family buried here in Salem and I’ll admit that we don’t take the time to visit graves when we’re in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  We really should do that more.  On Memorial Day however we take a trip to a cemetery here in Salem and just relax for a few hours. Sometimes we catch guppies in the ponds, or take a walk. My younger kids ask lots of questions about death and dying which is always an important conversation. I usually bring some carnations and the kids and I place them on Veteran’s graves that look untended and lonely. I like for them to think about the sacrifices that have been made for them.  It’s often said that “freedom isn’t free” and we need to remember that. I also use this time to tell them about their grandfathers. My Dad spent twenty years in the Army and retired as a Master Sargent. He was never far from that experience and shared much of it with us. My father-in-law didn’t serve in the military but he was a true patriot and taught us all as well. I love remembering Memorial Days long ago when my family camped together or Michael and I watched the  parade in Wharton, New Jersey with my in-laws. I wonder what my kids will remember and what they’ll share with their children.  I hope that you have a few moments to connect with the people you love today and to take some time to honor and remember those who have given so much for us.



  1. Kim Ayers says:

    I agree, and also visit the cemetery on this day. I’ll begin by meeting my Girl Scout troop to walk in the parade, which ends at the cemetery. The high school band will play “Taps” which never fails to make me cry. Veterans will be there, and I’m sad to say my son has outgrown his childhood infatuation to our men & women in uniform.
    My children used to ask “why are you crying, Mommy”? Which would open the door to conversation. Now, they just roll their eyes and say “Oh, Mommm”.
    But that’s ok, because they know why.
    Thanks for you post, I love your new blog!


  2. AmySue says:

    What a wonderful way to teach your children to remember and not forget! Thanks for sharing.


  3. Jenny Henny says:

    It had never occurred to me to take some time on this day to visit a cemetery with my girls. I’m writing this down for next year!


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