May 21, 2013

Memorial Day—Children’s Stories & Poems



For children (of all ages) I surfed the Internet and found the following sites with stories, poems, and quotes that provide Memorial Day reflection.

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Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service… Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic…and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery…

Memorial Day…observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military…(it) became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

Children are emotionally immature and have little life experience. Thus their concept of death can be fanciful or otherwise dealt with. Our culture also demonstrates, in all its combination of media, movies, and electronics, that life is temporary.

Perhaps a simple explanation comes from life and death in nature—leaves and flowers being “born,” wearing greens and bright colors, fading away only to return next year.

Have a respectful Memorial Day weekend with your children and family…Carolyn Cornell Holland

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Decorating graves of military men who died in service with flags
Decorating graves of military men and those who have passed with flowers
Family/friends gathering


…send out cards to soldiers that are currently deployed. Many soldiers look forward to hearing from home. Kids can draw pictures or create cards to send overseas to the soldiers currently fighting.
…fly the flag at your home on Memorial Day to honor the troops.
… teach your child how to display a flag properly. Teach them how they should handle a flag when raising it and lowering it.



Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. —George Washington

Memorial Day this year is especially important As we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Services make to defend our way of life. —Robin Hayes

137 years later, Memorial Day remains one of America’s most cherished patriotic observances. The spirit of this day has not changed—it remains a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy. —Doc Hastings


And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me. — Lee Greenwood

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. — Francis Amasa Walker


The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:
Their courage nerves a thousand living men.
~Minot J. Savage

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. ~Benjamin Disraeli




(to the tune of “Down By the Station”)

Down by the flagpole, early in the morning,
See our nation’s colors flying at half-staff.
There they will fly, blowing in the breeze,
Until noontime, then up they go.

Why on the flagpole do they fly so low?
What is the meaning? Tell me if you know.
They fly there in memory of the soldiers
Who died that we might have liberty.

(to the tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”)

Soldiers fighting for our country all the live-long day,
Soldiers fighting for country at home and far away —
They face danger, they risk death
Each and every day,
Not for fame and not for fortune,
But for you and me.

They do it for you.
They do it for me.
Yes, they go to war for you and me.
They do it for you.
They do it for me.
Yes, they fight to keep us free.




It was Memorial Day, and the entire town of Mayfield had flocked to Picnic Park to socialize, play games, and enjoy the day. The dewy green field was covered with quilts and baskets, and there were balls and kites flying through the crisp air as the citizens of Mayfield basked in the sunshine. Businesses from all around Mayfield had contributed food and entertainment to the event, and there were vendors lined up all along the fences, selling candies and souvenirs. It was a gorgeous day, and nobody stopped playing long enough to feel bad for the few people who couldn’t make it. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day, and when it ended everyone packed up their baskets and toys and walked home, glad, tired, and a little bit sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful afternoon As everyone was departing from Picnic Park, a cry could be heard from the field, and everyone looked to see young Timmy Smith, a boy of only twelve, shouting that his dog had been stolen. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Timmy’s parents, helped him search the field for the missing canine, returning at last to the tree where Timmy and Mr. Smith had tied the dog securely before running off to play Frisbee with their neighbors. The rope they had used to secure the dog hadn’t been… (to continue )


In a rifle-pit, on the brow of a hill near Fredericksburg, were a number of Confederate soldiers who had exhausted their ammunition in the vain attempt to check the advancing column of Hooker’s finely equipped and disciplined army which was crossing the river. To the relief of these few came the brigade in double-quick time. But no sooner were the soldiers intrenched than the firing on the opposite side of the river became terrific.
A heavy mist obscured the scene. The Federal soldiers poured a merciless fire into the trenches. Soon many Confederates fell, and the agonized cries of the wounded who lay there calling for water, smote the hearts of their helpless comrades.
“Water! Water!” But there was none to give, the canteens were-empty.
“Boys,” exclaimed Nathan Cunningham, a lad of eighteen, the color-bearer for his regiment, “I can’t stand this any more. They want water, and water they must have. So let me have a few canteens and I’ll go for some.”
Carefully laying the colors, which he had borne on many a field, in a trench, he seized some canteens, and, leaping into the mist, was soon out of sight.
Shortly after this the firing ceased for a while, and an order came for the men to fall back to the main line.
As the Confederates were retreating they met Nathan Cunningham, his canteens full of water, hurrying to relieve the thirst of the wounded men in the trenches. He glanced over the passing column and saw that the faded flag, which he had carried so long, was not there. The men in their haste to obey orders HAD FORGOTTEN OR OVERLOOKED THE COLORS.
Quickly the lad sped to the trenches, intent now not only on giving water to his comrades, but on rescuing the flag and so to save the honor of his regiment.
His mission of mercy was soon accomplished. The wounded men drank freely. The lad then found and seized his colors, and turned to rejoin his regiment. Scarcely had he gone three paces when a company of Federal soldiers appeared ascending the hill.
“Halt and surrender,” came the stern command, and a hundred rifles were leveled at the boy’s breast.
“NEVER! while I hold the colors,” was his firm reply.
The morning sun, piercing with a lurid glare the dense mist, showed the lad proudly standing with his head thrown back and his flag grasped in his hand, while his unprotected breast was exposed to the fire of his foe.
A moment’s pause. Then the Federal officer gave his command:
“Back with your pieces, men, don’t (to continue reading  )



~Dorothy Brown Thompson~

Memorial Day
Of every year
The little valiant
Flags appear
On every fallen
Soldier’s grave–
Symbol of what
Each died to save.
And we who see
And still have breath–
Are we no wiser
For their death?


by Roger J. Robicheau

The Unknown Soldier
You need not ever know my name
This unknown soldier seeks no fame
I’m here to bring out thought from you
May your heart see more than your view
America, we marched with pride
We gave our life, for you we died

How well we knew the time might come
When life could sound that final drum
Please think of us as (to continue click on  )

By Joanna Fuchs

Freedom in America
Isn’t really free;
We often pay a price
To keep our liberty.
Remember those we loved,
Who fought for us, and died;
And those we never knew
For whom others mourned and cried.
At home our “war” for freedom
Is sadly overdue;
We’ve let corruption stage
A sad and grievous coup.
No longer can we


By Linda A. Copp

And the little tin soldier molds in his hand
And the little tin soldier molds in his hand
He is to carry
the truth of command
From mountain to mountain
from shoreline to sand.
And the little tin soldier molds in his hand
And the little tin soldier molds in his hand
And the thunder clouds gather
up in the sky
Looks like the angels
are about to cry.
And the little tin



May Celebrations: Part 1

May celebrations: Part II




  1. Carolyn, interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by merry — May 24, 2013 @ 8:14 pm | Reply

  2. The memorial day mystery story link is broken. Do you happen to know where else I could get a copy of this story? Looking for it for the weekend. Thanks for the great resource!

    Comment by Brad — May 26, 2016 @ 1:14 am | Reply

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