Organize a meaningful Memorial Day

Organize a Meaningful Memorial Day

The words “Memorial Day” bring to mind images of backyard picnics and the official start of summer. There are Memorial Day sales at the department stores and the rule that wearing white is okay magically goes into effect. But we wonder if the true meaning of Memorial Day has been lost in the translation between the hot dogs and the badminton game. Created in the late 1800s to commemorate fallen soldiers, Memorial Day is a national day of remembrance for those who have served our country. So why has it become synonymous with grills and pool parties?

Sarah on “Not Taking Freedom for Granted”

“For many, service to our country is rather invisible. You might see news of a soldier’s death on the news or drive by a welcome home sign posted on the highway, but in day-to-day living, you tend to not think about it unless your family member or friend is in the armed services. If you don’t have a direct, personal connection to the military, make Memorial Day a time to reflect upon our freedoms and to express your profound gratitude to the men and women who have given or currently risk their lives to protect those freedoms.”

Alicia on “Removing Politics”

“I live in California and see a lot of anti-war demonstrations. Regardless of how you feel about the wars the country is fighting, it is important to look past the politics and focus on the very real sacrifices that these men and women are making or have made on our behalf. Current soldiers leave their homes and families for long periods of time and miss the daily interactions that we all take for granted. They should be thanked and supported for those reasons alone regardless of whether you’re in support of the country’s military actions as a whole.”

Here are four ways to commemorate Memorial Day:

1. Volunteer to help a veteran.

From reading to a vet who has been blinded by a roadside bomb to donating clothes and other household items that support veterans causes, you can help in a number of ways. Visit for get more information about ways you can get sign up to help a veteran.

2. Register to Vote.

We live in a country where it is acceptable, and expected, that you’ll voice your opinion, so do it. It is a privilege and a right that so many others aren’t granted, so don’t pass it up because you think your vote doesn’t matter or you aren’t educated on the candidates.

3. Thank Someone in Uniform.

The next time you pass someone in fatigues, say thanks. Out loud. Service to our country isn’t limited to the military; you can also thank anyone from a police officer, to an EMS worker, or fireman too.

4. Send a Note of Thanks and/or Care Package Overseas.

You’d be surprised at how little goes a long way. Military men and women stationed overseas enjoy receiving packages with everything from handi-wipes to candy and treats. Visit or to learn more. Then set aside time with your family to put a care package together and send it out.

How do you remember our fighting forces? How do you honor their sacrifice?