Memorial Day isn’t just about the start of summer and barbecues and pool parties; it’s about honoring those who served in the United States Armed Forces who gave their lives fighting for our freedom. It’s about remembering the sacrifices of our families, friends, and neighbors who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our way of life. It’s about letting these men and women know that we will never forget their contributions to this country and we will always be grateful for their efforts, even though they have been unable to enjoy them on Earth with us.
Those Who Served
While Memorial Day is considered a summer holiday in America, it should also be observed as a time to reflect on our veterans. While some citizens may think it’s enough to simply remember our veterans at 11 am on November 11 (Veterans Day), there are many other opportunities for Americans to thank those who served—not just from our military, but from all branches of service.
Freedom Isn’t Free
Ask any member of a U.S. military service about what Memorial Day means to them, and chances are you’ll hear freedom isn’t free. It’s an old saying that’s come to embody everything we appreciate about our great nation: freedom, family, faith and flag. Here are some ways to honor those who have served and continue to serve in America’s armed forces by giving back on Memorial Day…
1) Call or visit your local veterans hospital and offer to volunteer. Most hospitals need people to help out with things like walking dogs, filing paperwork or taking patients out for physical therapy sessions. They also need volunteers for events like Veterans Day parades and special veteran-centric concerts; even if you can only spare an hour or two every month, it all adds up! 2) If you have a larger time commitment, consider becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister. The organization pairs up children from military families who are struggling in school with mentors who have been through similar experiences—they’re trained to provide support and guidance so that these kids don’t fall behind. 3) Donate blood. Did you know that over half of America’s active duty troops are ineligible to donate blood? That means there is always a shortage on supplies, which puts our armed forces at risk when they’re overseas. By donating blood (or plasma), you could save someone’s life—and honor those who gave their lives for ours. 4) Help raise money for veterans by participating in charity runs or walks.
Thank You to All Our Veterans
It’s easy to forget that one day a year isn’t enough to show our gratitude to those who fought and gave their lives in service to their country. This is why we must do everything in our power, both big and small, to thank them. If you know someone who has served our country, take some time on a regular basis—and especially today—to express your gratitude for all they have done. And if you don’t personally know anyone who has served, consider finding ways to help out organizations like Wounded Warrior Project or Team Rubicon. There are many opportunities available for helping veterans adjust back into civilian life after serving overseas; volunteering with such organizations can be incredibly rewarding as well as provide insight into what challenges veterans face upon returning home.
Remembering the Fallen
On Memorial Day, we remember those who have lost their lives to protect our way of life. We honor and thank them for defending our country and ensuring that we are free to speak, protest, and fight for what we believe in—freedom. This year, as you spend time with your friends and family over barbecues and backyard get-togethers, take a moment to reflect on those who have fallen. They died so you could be here today. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. As General Douglas MacArthur once said, It is not how these men died that mattered; it was how they lived. May we always live by their example and remember to honor those who made sacrifices for us every day. Thank you for serving our country! Happy Memorial Day!
Honor Them by Serving Yourself, Help Others, Tell Others
There are no formal rules or obligations on how to spend your Memorial Day. But if you’re looking for an alternative, it may be worth considering serving others—whether that means volunteering at a local food bank or helping out your friend who is hosting a barbecue. Or simply telling others about why you’re honoring those who served and lost their lives can also go a long way toward honoring their memory in more ways than one.
What Makes America Great?
In a globalized, interconnected world, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes America great. But there are many reasons to be proud to call America home. America is one of the few places that entrepreneurship is alive, thriving, and that little thing called the “American Dream” is open to anyone.
Live Your Best Life Every Day
It’s easy to forget how grateful we should be for those who lost their lives in service, especially on days like Independence Day or Labor Day. Don’t let today go by without reflecting on why we have a special day dedicated to honor those who gave up everything for our freedom. Pay tribute and take some time to share your gratitude. If you need help getting started reach out. We’d love to get you connected.