Memorial Day is tomorrow. In my opinion, Memorial Day is our nation’s most important holiday. I did not have the honor of serving my country in our armed forces, but that does not mean that I can’t support our troops now or appreciate what so many have done for all of us.
Memorial Day is not about a day off. It is not about BBQs. It isn’t about getting together with friends and family. It isn’t about the first official day of summer. As a matter of fact, it isn’t about us at all. Throughout the history of America, men and women have ventured into harms way because they believed our republic was worth fighting for. They wrote a check made payable to Uncle Sam. The amount was their life, and sadly, sometimes that check was cashed. This holiday is about them. And what we do on this day either honors or dishonors their memory.
Please, take time to remember. At 3PM local time on Monday, observe a moment of silence. This is called our National Moment of Remembrance. If you know someone who lost their life in service to our country, remember them. Visit their grave site if you can. Say a prayer.
If you have a flag pole, fly the flag. At dawn, the flag is raised all the way to the top of the pole, and then lowered to half-staff. At noon local time, raise the flag back to full staff.
Teach your children. Our children are our future, and if they are to preserve the Republic, they need to understand our traditions. Spend time with them. Include them in your Memorial Day observations.
Thank a veteran. Yes, Memorial Day is about those that have fallen in battle and yes, we have another holiday called Veteran’s Day, but do it anyway. For many veterans, Memorial Day is a time when they vividly remember their comrades and close friends. By thanking them, you tell them that you appreciate the sacrifice made by those they’ve lost.
Lastly, thank a current service member. Remember, we are currently fighting in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The reality is the service member you thank this year could be one of the fallen remembered next year. We all pray this is not the case, but freedom isn’t free. Tell them you appreciate the sacrifices they are making.
That’s it. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. There is no stress over finding the perfect gift. This year, make Memorial Day your most important holiday.