Make Memorial Day meaningful for kids

The true meaning of Memorial Day often gets lost behind three day weekends, barbecues and blockbuster movies. But there are some easy ways to teach your kids about the people who sacrifice to keep our nation free.

Young kids learn by doing so start with the patriotic crafts such as coloring in a picture of an American flag. While being creative you can explain why we honor our service people.

You can also get more personal by visiting a Veterans Hospital and bringing cookies to let the retired vets know that they have not been forgotten.

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If a trip to a Civil War battlefield is possible, plan an educational visit. Take a map and show your kids locations were soldiers fought on our own soil.

Many communities have some sort of war memorial to visit. If your children are at an appropriate age, take them to decorate the graves of service people at a local cemetery. There's nothing like a sense of family pride when putting together a family tree and highlighting relatives who served in the armed forces.

Once kids learn the history of Memorial Day, remind them that there are still American soldiers stationed around the world. They can even write letters and draw pictures thanking those current soldiers for their continued service.

Memorial day will be so much better when kids realize that their barbecue meal tastes like sweet freedom.