Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday's Matter: As American as Memorial Day and Scripture Baseball

At our house, and millions of others around the world, Monday nights are reserved for families.  A Family Home Evening (FHE)!!  What makes up your Monday?




What is Memorial Day?  At our home, sadly, it is mostly just a 3 day weekend to BBQ or camp, a time to take a break before the heat and hustle and bustle of the summer months (and most years, it is a time to can the peaches on the tree), and sometimes it is a good sale at the department stores.  

Today, I thought, would be a great time to discuss the meaning behind Memorial Day.  Knowing the real meaning behind the holiday is an important step to honoring those who have sacrificed for our freedom.







{READ}

From TIME Magazine for KIDS
Technically, summer doesn't start until June 21. But many people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of the season. This year, we celebrate the holiday on May 26. Many families will heat up the grill, head to the beach or take in a big blockbuster movie. But Memorial Day has the word "memorial" in it for a reason.
Soldier Donnie Terrell, a member of the U.S. Army, carries his daughter Hailey during a parade at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida.
EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN—TAMPA BAY TIMES/AP
Soldier Donnie Terrell, a member of the U.S. Army, carries his daughter Hailey during a parade at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
The holiday got started on May 30, 1868, when Union General John A. Logan declared the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. Twenty years later, the name was changed to Memorial Day. On May 11, 1950, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the President issue a proclamation calling on Americans to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971. Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May. It is an occasion to honor the men and women who died in all wars.
Remembering Those Who Served
It is customary to mark Memorial Day by visiting graveyards and war monuments. One of the biggest Memorial Day traditions is for the President or Vice President to give a speech and lay a wreath on soldiers' graves in the largest national cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia. Most towns have local Memorial Day celebrations. Here are some ways you can honor the men and women who serve our country:
- Put flags or flowers on the graves of men and women who served in wars.
- Fly the U.S. flag at half-staff until noon.
- Visit monuments dedicated to soldiers, sailors and marines.
- Participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
- March in a parade

{WATCH}  The History Channel: History of the Holidays, Memorial Day



{TEACH}
It is a time to remember all those Americans who have fought in the past to keep this country safe and free. It is a day to honor and respect the armed forces, those who have already died, and those who continue to serve our country still today. Of course, remember to teach children that this day isn’t just limited to honoring and remembering those in the armed forces. It is a wonderful time for personal remembrance as well, remembering family members and friends that have been lost. It is a day to reflect upon the losses of those who have made our lives better.

{DISCUSS}
Make a list of ways your family might observe Memorial Day next week.  Who can you thank?  Who can you honor?  How can you honor?


{Decide how YOUR family will observe Memorial Day}



{Relate It To Your Family}
Ask if your family know of any family member who has fought in a war.  If not be prepared to teach them who it was and what war they fought in.  If possible, obtain a picture of each person and display it for the week as a reminder of this lesson.

{Activity}
What is more American than Baseball?

Scripture Baseball: Prepare ahead signs that say 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Home, Pitcher. Place signs around the room in the shape of a baseball diamond. On index cards write approx.15 questions based on the scriptures with answers referenced. Difficult questions are labelled Home Run. Divide into teams, each with a pitcher selected who chooses the first question from the stack and reads it to his first batter. If the batter gives the correct answer, he moves to first base and the next batter is up. If the next question is also answered correctly, batters each move ahead 1 base, etc. until one comes home to SCORE. If a player misses a question, his team is OUT and the other team is UP TO BAT. Team with the highest score wins.


{FHE doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to BE}

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