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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day - Research, Memories and the Younger Generation

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was established on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan. The first celebration of Decoration Day was May 30, 1868.

American Cemeteries Overseas

The American Battle Monuments Commissions was formed in 1923 to twenty-four cemeteries overseas. Check out their website if you have an ancestor that may have been buried on foreign soil.

Memorial Day Memories

While growing up Memorial Day was a welcome reminder that school was almost over. Our summer vacation to Michigan would start to take shape and the some of the weekend would be spent on Fox River at the Picnic Grove which was always a treat. On holiday weekends Aunt Mabel and Uncle Sandy would launch their boat at the Picnic Grove and everyone would go skiing (everyone but me, the non-swimmer).

For my grandmother, Florence Schwemm Pahlke, the days leading up to Memorial Day were busy. Grandma was busy in the basement of her home cleaning and arranging the floral arrangements. Every Memorial Day grandma would decorate the family plots and on Labor Day weekend she would pick up the arrangement. Along the way she would tap one of her grandchildren to help and we did.

Earl Pahlke

Memorial Day and the Younger Generation

The question for me and I am sure other parents and grandparents is how to make sure our children understand that Memorial Day is more than a day off from school, a trip to Busch Gardens or a fishing trip.

It is important to talk to the younger generation about their ancestors who served in the military. We also need to help them understand the sacrifices that have been made by too many families through out American History.

One of my favorite ways to get the younger folks interested in history is through books, movies and television. The premiere of Gettysburg on The History Channel Monday evening would be a great time to watch television as a family.

My granddaughter just introduced me to a new series of books for the 9-12 year olds called "I Survived". Currently the series covers the Titanic, Hurricane Katrina and Shark Attack. I have preordered "I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941" The books are published by Scholastic Paper Books.

Creating a summer reading list with and for a younger person in your life would be a great joint activity this Memorial Day weekend.

Take Care,

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