Memorial Day conjures up images of backyard barbecues, traffic, beach days, retail sales and the unofficial start of summer. It is certainly a great weekend to hang out with family and friends, and to look forward to the season ahead.
But we should never lose sight of the meaning of this important holiday. The day has its roots in a post-Civil War celebration called Decoration Day, and became an official federal holiday in 1971. It is a time for all of us to honor and remember the men and women who died while serving in the military.
Over the course of our nation’s history, more than 1.3 million men and women have died while serving and protecting American citizens and causes, here and abroad. Memorial Day is a time to thank them for our continued safety and freedom, to grieve their loss and to support the loved ones they have left behind.
Here at Cell Phones For Soldiers, we encourage families and individuals to take some time to observe Memorial Day in any way you can. Here are some suggestions of ways you might participate:
-Find out where and when your local community is celebrating Memorial Day and attend a parade or other events honoring the holiday. Bring your family, friends and patriotic pride!
-Visit a local or regional war memorial to learn more about the people from your community who gave their lives in service.
-Ask your local senior center if there are any veterans who may need help getting to or from Memorial Day ceremonies and volunteer to help if you can.
-Remember that Memorial Day can bring about difficult memories to people who have lost close friends and relatives, as well as those veterans who survived deadly conflicts. If someone you know may be having a hard time, let them know you’re there for them.
-Read a book or watch a film about military history. Some of our service members’ stories are more heroic and inspiring than anything you’ll see in a Hollywood blockbuster!
Finally, you can donate to a cause that supports our military and veterans. Cell Phones For Soldiers keeps our troops connected to their loved ones at home, and our Helping Heroes Home program provides emergency grants to veterans.
We hope you enjoy the unofficial start to summer 2017, and that you spend time this weekend honoring those members of the armed forces who gave their lives for us.