Memorial Day.  A day for cookouts, family gatherings, and the beginning of summer.  A day full of red, white and blue decorations, burgers on the grill, outside games, beach, boating and loads of fun.   

And while it is a good day for all those things, it was not originally intended as a day off work to have some fun.  Memorial Day was established as a national holiday to honor those who have lost their lives while serving our country.  Fallen soldiers.  Fathers, Mothers, Sons and Daughters.  They gave their lives to protect our freedoms.  Sacrifices that do not go unnoticed.   

Families that have lost loved ones.  Families that will grieve holidays and many special moments that they will never have.  Families whose lives were changed when a loved one defended our nation and our rights.   

Which brings us back to the Memorial Day holiday.  Yes, it is a day set aside.  It is most definitely a day to relax and enjoy, have a cookout with family and friends, and enjoy the outdoors.  But also, take some time to reflect on the true meaning of this holiday. 

Some simple ways to show honor: 

  1.  Raise the American flag.  It symbolizes our freedom and the battles that were won to protect us.    
  1. Attend a Memorial Day parade or tune in to a concert.  Many cities still have parades, however even playing patriotic music can help us pay tribute to the men and women who have fallen. 
  1. Share a photo of a loved one that has served.  Share a story about them that honors the sacrifices they made. 

Memorial Day is a powerful day for our nation.  It is a day to remember, give thanks, and show our appreciation.  In the year 2000, Congress passed an act called the National Moment of Remembrance to encourage all Americans to pause for a moment of silence to think about the fallen soldiers.  Let us not forget the ones who died so that we could have our freedom.   

“This is the day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home.  This is not Veteran’s Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom.” Tamra Bolton 

Written by: Nancy Chappel

 

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