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We don’t have to tell you that this Monday is Memorial Day. We’ve all been counting the days to a three-day weekend, probably since we flipped the calendar month. Your Memorial Day will likely include a day filled with barbecues, family and fun. We’re also excited for the holiday, but is it just us, or does the reason behind Memorial Day seem to get overshadowed with furniture sales, outdoor activities and other thoughts of summer?
Memorial Day, first known as Decoration Day, was created as a day to remember the men and women who died serving the United States of America. While there are no possible ways to repay them for their sacrifice, there are ways to say “thank you” to all past and current veterans. We’ve compiled a few ways to get started:
- Write a Thank You Letter
Express your gratitude to the current veterans in your life, or one you’ve never met with a handwritten note. A Million Thanks is an organization that makes it easy to send a letter.
“Feeling gratitude, but not expressing it is like a wrapping a present, but not giving it.” –William Arthur Ward
- Nominate a Veteran to Participate in an Honor Flight
Honor Flight is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans with honor and closure. They transport our heroes to Washington D.C. to visit memorials in their honor. There are currently 130 Honor Flight Hubs in 44 states. On May 16, 98 Korea and Vietnam War veterans boarded the Never Forgotten Honor Flight at Central Wisconsin Airport in Central Wisconsin (shown above).
- Visit a Veteran’s Cemetery
One of the more traditional ways to celebrate Memorial Day is to plan a trip to visit a veteran’s cemetery to reflect. At present, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs maintains 134 national cemeteries in 40 states, and 33 soldier’s lots and memorial sites. In Wisconsin, there are three cemeteries and five soldier’s lots.
- Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance
In December 2000, the “National Moment of Remembrance” was passed asking all Americans to “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps’” at 3 pm local time.
These are only four of many possible ways to celebrate Veterans this holiday. How do you plan to say “thank you”?
Happy Memorial Day from Lions Pride!