I wrote this post two years ago for Memorial Day and thought I’d share it again today. My kids are a little bit (okay, a lot) bigger but this is still our tradition. Whether your attending a parade or service, spending time with friends with family or spending some time in the garden today, I hope you’ll take time to remember and thank those who have served and sacrificed for us.  Michele

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. That’s a wonderful tradition. 🙂 I lost two of my three uncles who served in WWII and my husband served in the Armed Services. Memorial Day, Flag Day, and 4th of July are always about remembering them to me. I know the long weekend and the warmer weather are good things too, but memories of those gone but not forgotten trump them.


    1. It’s good to have days for remembering Judy, and Memorial Day is a little different to me since we think more about the military sacrifices.


  2. Michele says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Michele. I attended my first Memorial Day service yesterday which I photographed. It was solemn and beautiful. I spoke with my son, who had been in the middle school marching band in the parade that ended at the location of the service; he really didn’t understand what the whole thing had been about. I failed to discuss Memorial Day with him prior to the parade. I like your tradition very much, and might do the same thing next year since we also do not have any family graves to visit.


    1. It’s funny because this started very informally when my kids were really small. Over the years as they each go through developmental stages the discussion takes interesting turns, some that I can predict and some that really surprise me. We really treasure the memories we have of our loved ones. I think our generation celebrates Memorial Day differently than our parents did for many reasons. We’ve been living in war time for the past ten years or so, and that has changed us.


  3. What a beautiful tradition, Michele.


    1. Thank you Dana, It’s important to me.


  4. Dawn says:

    Just lovely, Michele! I’m sure that your children will always remember this important family tradition! Love your blog… and am a new follower. Happy summer days in the garden! ♡


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