COLORADO SPRINGS — Memorial Day is all about taking time to remember those who lost their lives while protecting our country, but for a local family it was also an opportunity to teach younger generations about what this day means.
Every year on Memorial Day, the Germany family takes their six children along with family friends and their kids too, to national cemeteries like the Pikes Peak National Cemetery. They do a scavenger hunt with the kids to teach them the meaning behind this day.
"Every year, we try to find a national cemetery nearby, so we've done this in a lot of different states," said Glenn Germany. "The kids, they try to find different things on headstones, a birthday that's their birthday, the different religious symbols on headstones, the different branches of the military, and different wars that people fought in."
Madelyn Crossley, eight years old, is one of the nearly dozen kids learning more about those who lost their lives while serving our country.
"Memorial day is a day to honor the people that have died and the people that have died that you love too," said Crossley.
While walking down the rows of headstones, the kids as well as the family members are also paying respects to the men and women who died serving the country and learning more about them.
"The kids, they're excited to find things and just to see the variety of people who have served our country. It's something they look forward to every Memorial Day, and it makes it much more real for them" said Germany. "We took it upon ourselves to teach our kids that it's not just another day mom and dad are home from work."
Germany also serves in the U.S. Air Force, and for military families like his, this day has that much more meaning.
"Both of my grandfathers served in the army air corp, my wife's grandfather served in the navy reserves, so Memorial Day has always had a special place in my heart," said Germany. "They're always near and dear to me, and on a day like today, they're no longer with us, so it's a day for me to remember their service and recommit myself to my service.
The Pikes Peak National Cemetery is still fairly new, and had its first Memorial Day service in 2019. However, last year because of the pandemic many families were not able to go out and pay their respects to fallen heroes. The rain and clouds didn't stop families from coming out on Monday though. Dozens were found bringing flowers, praying and saluting to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.