For children, the meaning of Memorial Day can be challenging to interpret. For the young girls in Daisy Troop 70227, the reason behind the holiday become clearer, thanks to 30-minute lesson conducted by Vietnam Veteran, Richard Honan.
Leading up to the Zoom chat last Sunday evening, the troop had been learning about the importance of being courageous and strong on a mission to earn a petal for their daisy garden. As part of the lesson, the girls studied the story of Tula the Tulip, a flower who learns to stand up for what she believes in, even though she is scared. By being courageous, Tula makes positive changes in her group of flowers, and speaks up on behalf of a flower who is being picked on.
“It’s important that we learning to be courageous and strong and stand up for what we believe in our daily lives,” said Troop Leader, Julia Wallerce, at the start of the meeting.
Expanding on Tula’s experience, Honan gave a brief overview of his time in the military. He shared photos of children that he met in Vietnam, a pet monkey he tended to, and a black and white photo of him in uniform working as a truck driver. In addition to detailing the many jobs involved in the military, Honan shared his thoughts on the holiday.
“I feel very honored to join this meeting and help you get this next petal. When we remember all those men and women who defended this country and gave their lives, we have to remember that it’s not just a weekend off. This is a very solemn, almost holy time. It’s about those who defended this country to make it safe for you and your family.”
Honan also made sure to share the progress that women have made in the military and the many roles service members have.
“Unlike when I was in, today we have many women. Women serve alongside the men, and they serve all around the world. When you are in the military you learn how to get along with people, we help others in emergencies like floods and earthquakes, and we help foreign countries. Sometimes it’s hard to be courageous and to stand up and do what’s right because there are a lot of people doing bad things these days. It’s up to you girls to be brave and thoughtful. And teach others to be brave and thoughtful.”
Several of the Daisies shared brief stories about uncles and grandfathers who were in war or deployed to far away locations. “My mom’s brother is in the army too,” said Scarlett Fuller. “He’s always far away and I can’t just go there. Sometimes it’s too far. If he comes home, I can give him a big hug.”