Memorial Day is the gateway to summer. And it’s a great holiday: no presents to buy or turkey to bake, just family, food, and parades.

But it also has a serious purpose: to honor all those who have given their lives in military service.

With elementary age kids, says Julie Marie Rahm, author of Military Kids Speak, parents can begin by talking about what soldiers fight to protect: “notice what children in other countries are not able to do that we are able to do,” Rahm suggests, whether that’s going to school, or going to church, demonstrating to support our beliefs, or speaking out against the government. One important way kids can honor fallen heroes, Rahm says, is by doing their part to keep the freedoms soldiers fought for in place.

Middle school kids, says Rahm, can begin to think more deeply about the meaning of specific freedoms—and their limits. Kids this age love to claim their freedom of speech, Rahm says. But she also reminds them “that freedom really starts with self-control.” It’s a good time, according to Rahm, to start conversations with kids about how their rights relate to their responsibilities—and about the fact that other people have rights, too.
Read More: Time
Featured Image – DVIDS
 This article previously posted on SOFREP 05.30.2016