[MSS News] Branching Out Newsletter
mbessette at hopkintonschools.org
Wed May 23 14:26:16 EDT 2012
The best way to view the Maple Street School Principal's Newsletter - Branching Out , is to follow this link:
The raw text version, without the Dates to Remember Calendar and formatting follows below.
Dear Parents and Students:
I worry that the meaning of Memorial Day is, at best being lost, and at worst, forgotten by school children. Sure they know that this is a time of year when they have a long three-day weekend and that the close of school or summer recess is right around the corner. Perhaps they notice the five thousand “SALE!” advertisements on television that scream at them to buy, buy, buy. However, I truly wonder how many children understand what this holiday is about.
For those who may not recall themselves, Memorial Day is a holiday whose origins date back to 1866, the time of healing and reconstruction from the devastation this country suffered during the Civil War. In Waterloo, New York, a drugstore owner named Henry Welles came up with the idea that on one day all the shops would close down to honor those who had been killed during the war. On May 5th residents of the town visited the graves of those in the local cemetery and put out flowers and crosses on their graves. Another event was planned by Retired Major General Jonathan A. Logan, which was for soldiers that had survived the Civil War. He took veterans through town to decorate the graves of their fellow soldiers with flags. It was a memorial, not a celebration, and it was called Decoration Day. Decoration Day was expressed as a day for decorating the graves of those who had died defending the country. These two ceremonies were joined together to be one in 1868.
In 1882, the name Memorial Day was actually used and the day was made to be a remembrance to all soldiers who had died fighting for this country. President Nixon named it a federal holiday in 1971, establishing it on the very last Monday in the month of May.
So what do we need to teach kids about this important day? For sure, kids need to remember that this holiday is not a celebration. It is a memorial to service members who have paid the “ultimate price” for our freedoms in our country. While similar to Veterans Day in that the focus of the holiday is on our service men and women, the difference is that Memorial Day honors the fallen.
What I value most about Memorial Day, aside from the personal connections to family members and friends who died in service to our country, is the sense of community that the holiday engenders. While it is perfectly acceptable to honor the memory of others in private reflection, the most moving experiences I have had with Memorial Day observations have been when I was able to be present in a community event such as an observance at a local VFW or military base.
However you chose to honor the day, please help children to understand that the holiday is very important to those whose family, friends, and relatives have given up so much for us all to have the things that we have in our lives. Their sacrifices should not be forgotten.
To all of our community members who have lost family or friends in the act of service to our country, we thank you for thier dedication and service to our country.
Have a great week ahead!
Principal, Maple Street School
mbessette at hopkintonschools.org
This communication may contain privileged and/or confidential information. It is intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient, you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing or using any of this information. If you received this communication in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy the material in its entirety, whether electronic or hard copy.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the mssnews