As a former military spouse, showing gratitude on Memorial Day for our service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country is high on my list of priorities. Yes, the day is commonly known as the un-official beginning of summer, the end of the school year for many and the day to breakout the Grill Master.
Often Memorial Day is confused with Veterans Day which celebrates all service members living and dead. To some the distinction seems minute. Celebrating our service members across the board should be embraced and done regularly.
I have to admit, it does irk me a bit to see the confusion of the two holidays.
Once you've answered the door to two service members and just "know" they have come bearing the news every military spouse prays never gets delivered. The selfish relief that this time it's not your husband but the sadness and grief as you console a friend, mother, and, now, widow.
Once you've witnessed the last roll call and that soldier's name is called and goes unanswered.
Once you've consoled your spouse from afar - knowing nothing you can say or do will ever erase the images they've seen or wipe away the survivor's guilt that they are experiencing.
Until you've done those things - it's difficult to realize why Memorial Day holds such a special place in the hearts of many. Why we respect and honor those that are still here - protecting and serving our country - and spend this day reflecting on the loss, the sacrifice and the honor.Ways to Show Gratitude on Memorial Day
- Participate in the National Moment of Silence at 3 PM local time on Memorial Day - pause for at least one minute where ever you are to remember and honor those who have died in armed service
- Fly your American flag at half-mast - this is done during national days of mourning and days of respect for men and women in armed service
- Many cemeteries need volunteers to place flags on military graves. Contact a local church or city graveyard for information.
- Attend a ceremony at a local VFW, city hall, etc
We must never forget the reason behind this long weekend is to remember, honor and show gratitude to our fallen heroes.
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This article first appeared on Divas WIth A Purpose
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