Memorial Day Weekend Events and Parades in Greater Houston
Anyone can have a parade. Only Americans can have a parade to celebrate the greatest political achievements in history: establishing and repeatedly defending a country founded on the principle of individual liberty. Memorial Day, which was originally called Decoration Day because it was a day on which the graves of fallen soldiers were decorated, was established in the years after the Civil War to honor those who died in that war. Today, it is a day of remembrance of all who have died in this country's service.
Bravery. Honor. In President Lincoln's famous words, giving the last full measure of devotion to the defense of freedom. These are difficult ideas to explain to children, but it is our responsibility as parents to do it.
Start by bringing your kids to the Memorial Day Parade in your town. During the parade, demonstrate for them the solemnity and gratitude due to the veterans who march past. Take off your hats as they go by. Explain to your kids why we show respect for the flag. With them, cheer for the bands and salute the men and women in our police and fire departments. Think about those currently serving our country in the military around the world, and, perhaps, reflect with your children about the gratitude we owe their courage. If you know parents with a child in the military, take a few minutes to find a way to convey your thanks.
Click here for a brief history of Memorial Day in the U.S., courtesy of the Waterloo, NY web site. Below the following list of dates and times for this year, we have compiled some other good links for those of you ambitious enough to explore further the meaning of Memorial Day.
Also note: If you are marching in a parade, line-up is usually about 1/2 hour before the start of the parade.
Sunday May 27, 2018
Memorial Day Weekend Celebration & Fireworks Shows - 4 - 9 pm. Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in The Woodlands. The festival pays tribute to all military service men and women who lost their lives while serving the United States, and also honors all veterans who serve as a symbol for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice of life to protect our freedom. Memorial Day Weekend in The Woodlands features live music, children’s activities, strolling entertainers and more at Town Green Park. The evening concludes with a dazzling fireworks display choreographed to a patriotic soundtrack.
Monday May 28, 2018
Houston National Cemetery Ceremony - 9:30 am (at Hemicycle) National Cemetery Administration will host Memorial Day ceremonies at VA national cemeteries across the country with the help of local communities. Each cemetery and community will add their own special touch of patriotism and “thanks” during the events.
Check out some of the stories and thoughts of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, who is credited with holding the Union position at Little Round Top at Gettysburg, and was an eloquent professor of rhetoric from Maine besides.
Or read about Robert G. Shaw, who was the 26-year-old commander of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the first black regiment of the Civil War. Matthew Broderick starred as Colonel Shaw in the 1989 film about the regiment, Glory, which also featured Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman.
You could also discuss with them the patriot Nathan Hale, who was the first American captured and executed for spying on the British during the Revolutionary war. He is the originator of the often-repeated "I only regret I have but one life to lose for my country."
For a bit more recent history, you might show your children the famous picture of Strank, Block, Sousley, and their comradestaken just before these three died on Iwo Jima, and talk about what it means.
Or, you might stick with the incomparable words of Lincoln on the topic, so that your children understand that indeed, the heros we honor on Memorial day have done much more than their share, and that it is "for us the living,...to be dedicated....to the great work which they who fought ...have thus far so nobly advanced."