Memorial Day is more than just the unofficial kickoff to summer. As you ride boats, enjoy the beach, and cook out with your families, take time to remember our fallen American heroes. My family has fought in every single American war. Thankfully, none of them have died while in service, but it gives us a good dose of perspective.
Cathy Maxwell gives eight great ways to honor the fallen:
1. Take part in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 pm
Wherever you are, stop, and give a minute of your time in reflection or prayer.
2. Be a part of your community
Take part in a local parade or commemorative service. Most cities will hold concerts. If yours doesn’t, you will be able to catch the televised National Memorial Day Concert on Capitol Hill Sunday evening.
3. Purchase a poppy from a VFW member
They usually sell them for a donation in front of shopping centers. Tie a poppy to your purse or your lapel. Remind the masses that this isn’t just a day to find great deals on used car.
4. Crank up the tunes
Make a patriotic music playlist and hang the red, white, and blue. Remember other decorations such as bunting.
5. Keep your family’s personal military history alive
Ask your military family members for personal stores of what they experienced while they served. If they are willing, make a recording or take notes. This truly is history alive. Not only is it military history, it is family history. Don’t let these experiences fade.
6. If you are a Veteran, please, take a moment to write your own history
Some things you might not want to share, but what you will can change over time. Don’t mothball your service awards, either. Share them. Perhaps scan your service records and letters to a digital format.
7. Donate to a charity that supports our military in ways our government doesn’t.
I recommend looking up organization on Charity Navigator to determine if the charity is true to its promise.
Consider helping the USO in its mission to help active duty personnel and their families. The VA Hospitals also need help. Check the http://www.volunteer.va.gov website for more information.