Online and Self-Directed Learning During Memorial Day
ONLINE LEARNING: Learning about the individuals who served in wartime can have a significant impact on our sense of appreciation as we remember their acts of service. Introduce yourself to the American Vietnam War Veterans who were born on this day/month and those who died on this day/month. How does learning of their age, race, hometown, religion, marital status, length of service, how and where they perished, and reading comments from friends and family, impact your emotional connection to the people who served our country?
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: Another way to learn about veterans who served our country is by visiting historic graveyards. In Agawam at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, nearly 10,000 veterans and their dependents have been interred. Filled with stone markers that chronicle a community’s history, local cemeteries can provide visitors with a look deep into the past and even into the lives of those who have served our country. Families wishing to engage in self-guided tours of a historic cemetery can visit Longmeadow’s Olde Burying Yard section of the Longmeadow Cemetery, where a collection of headstones serve as a museum chronicling the town’s history. Some gravestones can be explored via virtual tour, while others must be located in person. Historic Northampton offers virtual tours of the city’s Bridge Street Cemetery, a 300-year-old graveyard that is the final resting place of many notable Northamptonites. As true to any community space during COVID-19, please practice safe social distancing and be respectful of other visitors while visiting loved ones.
VOLUNTEERING: In addition to remembering those who died while serving our country, Memorial Day can also be a day to pause and express appreciation towards those who survived and are currently serving our country. Operation Gratitude’s response to COVID-19 is a call to action for #VirtualVolunteerism. They are providing ways for families to give back from your own home.
Photo credits: (c) Sienna Wildfield