Importance of Passing Memorial Day Values to Kids

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

May 26, 2013

With so many people to remember and be thankful for on Memorial Day, one local veteran says it's up to kids and younger generations to keep the love and respect for our country alive.

Jim O'Kelley, a retired Marine from Albemarle County says Memorial Day has certainly changed over the years and not for the better.

"We've successfully turned it into a three day weekend for people to go to the beach and party and all that and yet these men didn't die so we could party they died to protect our freedoms and our liberties," O'Kelley said.

He says there's a big price on the freedom Americans have and acknowledging and being thankful for that is what Memorial Day is all about.

"Most people take this freedom we've got for granted, they seem to think that this comes free but it doesn't," he said.

And that's something Tracy Krebs and her husband want to instill in their kids.

"It's really important to us as parents to raise our kids with that respect," said Krebs, a mother of two as well as a daughter, wife and sister of members of the Navy.

"The commitment that they have to honor the country and honor their fellow man is something that we're losing it seems."

Both agree parents must pass the education and values on to their kids even if it's the little things.

"My grandson, we've been trying to teach him at a football game, putting his hand over his heart, taking off his hat, honoring this country," O'Kelley said.

His grandson Bailey also asked him to teach him how to salute. O'Kelley said it's a gesture of respect, the same as saying hello in the morning.

Veterans Day is to thank those who are still with us and Memorial Day is to remember and thank those who died for the life we can live now.

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