There are several different claims to who held the first Memorial Day commemoration. A Day for Rememberin’ by Leah Henderson shares one of them. The story is told from the perspective from a ten-year-old boy named Eli who lives in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865. He is a former slave who remembers the hard days before the Civil War. One day, his father allows him to miss school to help build a respectful resting place for fallen Union soldiers who had helped secure his freedom. After the work was done, a crowd of people a mile-long come to pay their respects, laying flowers on the graves, giving speeches, singing, and crying.
Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a tear-jerker of a book that reminds us of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in fighting for our country. It tells of how the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery came to be. It also describes the duty and honor of those who guard it. This would be a great book for Memorial Day or if one is planning a trip to Washington D.C.
This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Strength by Sean Rubin is a wonderful way to introduce young children to the events of 9/11. It tells of a tree that managed to survive the wreckage of that day, was moved to a nursery in a park where it was able to regrow until finally it was able to be moved back to the site of the World Trade Towers. Known as the Survivor Tree, it is a great symbol of healing, hope, and rebirth.
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