Celebrating Heroes

Two Ways to Teach Your Kids the Importance of Memorial Day

Backyard BBQs and other events Americans celebrate with family and friends are appropriate ways to honor Memorial Day and remember what our nation’s military heroes did for us—died for us. After all, we are here to appreciate and enjoy our families, friends, and freedom because they are not.

I’d like to suggest two other simple ways we can honor America’s fallen warriors this Memorial Day. Most especially, we need to share the true meaning of this national holiday with our children and young people. Sadly, America’s education system doesn’t do a great job of teaching our kids why Americans are free to enjoy their liberty and pursue their happiness. These benefits, too often taken for granted, were hard-won by our forebears and are preserved by today’s patriots.

Watch “Taking Chance,” a stirring movie based on a true story. It follows Marine Corps Lt. Colonel Michael Strobl who volunteers to escort a fallen Marine, Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, to his family home in Wyoming. Kevin Bacon is stellar in conveying the poignant nature of his sacred mission. Incidentally, I recently wrote about a fallen soldier flight, which brought the movie to mind.

And read Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s Hillsdale College speech, Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery. Senator Cotton is a decorated U.S. Army officer who speaks reverently about his service in the Old Guard, performing funerals and other honors at the cemetery.

Among his tantalizing anecdotes, Sen. Cotton delivers a fascinating and necessary history lesson. Just one example: The Old Guard is “the oldest active-duty infantry regiment in the Army, dating back to 1784.” Sen. Cotton tells us how America remembers its war dead, honoring each of them with an unfailing military precision shown equally from privates to presidents.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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