Memorial Day

Memorial Day: Living the Values

Observing Memorial Day with your grandchildren can be both meaningful and fun.

Memorial Day Mitzvah

Zikaron—“remembrance”— is an important part of our Jewish tradition. We remember the miracle of the oil when we celebrate Hannukah. On Passover, we remember we were slaves in Egypt and work to ensure no one is enslaved today.

As Americans, we also remember our past. On the last Monday of May, we observe Memorial Day, remembering those courageous men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom. It is appropriate that we celebrate, too, the millions of men and women who currently serve in our armed forces. There are several mitzvot you can do this Memorial Day to honor our country’s military heroes.

  1. Visit United through Reading (UTR) for ways to help military families read together.
  2. Support Jewish individuals serving overseas through the Major Stuart Adam Wolfer Institute. Or contribute to Kosher Troops.
  3. On Memorial Day we think about those who make sacrifices for us or work hard on our behalf. Here’s one way to say thank you: Put out sealed snacks and drinks for those who deliver goods to you—perhaps your mail carrier or grocery or take-out delivery person. Include a short thank you note with a sentence or two (or a drawing) about what you appreciate about this person.

Ideas adapted from

Homemade Edible Flag Ice Cake

Here’s an easy and really yummy red, white, and blue dessert, perfect for your Memorial Day and July 4th get-togethers.  

Materials: lemons, strawberries, blueberries, sugar (optional), cups or cake pan or muffin tin

  1. Squeeze lemons to make the desired amount of lemonade for the container size you are using (i.e., cups, cake pan, or muffin tin).
  2. Blend or mash strawberries and blueberries separately to desired consistency to make strawberry and blueberry juice (fruit pulp is great in this ice cake).
  3. Add the desired amount of sugar to each flavor.
  4. Put each fruit (yes, lemon is a fruit) into a separate container of your choice (cup, cake pan, or muffin tin).
  5. Freeze the containers.
  6. When frozen, run the containers under warm water to release them.
  7. Stack your frozen fruit to make a red, white and, blue Memorial Day flag reminder.

Click HERE to find an alternative: Try making red, white, and blue ice pops instead. 

Memorial Day Picture of Patriotism

Materials: colored paper, glue, patriotic stickers, markers

If you served in the military or have relatives or friends who have served, Memorial Day is the perfect time to look at photographs, maps, uniforms, foreign money, and personal letters with your older grandchildren. Photocopy or print out photographs of those in uniform for younger grandchildren. They can cut out colored-paper frames or glue photos onto colored paper and decorate around them with colored-paper mosaics, stickers, or markers.

Click HERE to find more ways to enrich your Memorial Day celebrations.