Express Your Gratitude on Memorial Day

May 22nd, 2015
Memorial Day is so much more than the Holiday signaling the start of summer.  It is a time when our nation reflects with gratitude on the sacrifice, so many in uniform have made to protect the freedom we too often take for granted.

Many businesses, schools and government offices will be closed on Memorial Day, but it’s important to view this as so much more than a three-day weekend.  It is important to keep the true meaning and spirit of Memorial Day at the forefront of this Holiday.

As a child I remember going to the cemetery with my Grandmother to put flags on the graves of the Veterans in our family.  It was especially difficult for my Grandmother to place the flag on her only son who made the ultimate sacrifice at age 18.  She often explained that her tears were not only tears of sadness, but of great pride.

Another memory was selling poppies to help organizations who supported veterans.  Poppies are now sold worldwide and generate millions of dollars.  I loved the poem by Moina Michael who was inspired by the poem “In Franders Fields.”  She replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red That grows on fields where valor led, It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.

The following are some suggestions on how you can show your gratitude on Memorial Day… 1. Take part in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 PM Wherever you are, stop and give a minute of your time for awareness or prayer 2. Attend Community Memorial Day Events Plan to attend a parade or commemorative service and explain to children the true meaning of Memorial Day. 3. Purchase a poppy Wear the poppy to show your support of Veteran Organizations and as a reminder this day is so much more than a great day to find deals at retailers. 4. Keep your family’s personal military history alive  Over the picnic table, share stories of family members who served this country. Wearing the uniform calls for sacrifice but it is also an amazing adventure and one that deserves to be documented.  Don’t let your family’s story disappear. 5. If you are a Veteran, please, take a moment to write your own history Some experiences you may not feel willing to share but as time passes, your perspective might change and we, as a nation, can gain from your insight. 6. Donate to charities that support our military There are many charities who directly benefit Veterans and their families who desperately need your support. 7. Volunteer If you feel called to do more, consider helping the USO in its mission to help active duty personnel and their families.  The VA  Hospitals also always need volunteers.  Time is often more valuable than a donation. 8. Employ Heroes You are in a Profession that can make a difference in the lives of Veterans transitioning from military to civilian life.  Help them find jobs and employ them in your own company. Patriotism is one of the core values I cherish that was passed down to me by my Grandparents and Parents.  Whether you live in the United States or anywhere else in the world, it is important to express your devotion, love and support of the individuals who have given the greatest sacrifice, so that you can be free.   Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS    

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