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Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day: Reflection and Celebration

Memorial Day is a time when we come together and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to their country. Since its formal creation in 1971, Americans come together to honor the fallen by visiting cemeteries, memorials, or holding family gatherings to celebrate the freedom that was earned through sacrifice.

In addition to picnics and BBQs, here are five great ideas for things we can do around our homes and towns to celebrate Memorial Day this weekend.

  1. Attend A Ceremony. Many towns have parades and ceremonies on Memorial Day and some events even conclude with a memorial service. Take some time from prepping for BBQs or relaxing with friends and family to take advantage of what your town has to offer.
  2. Decorate with Flags. For many years, it has been a tradition to decorate graves of fallen soldiers with flags on Memorial Day.  Another tradition is to fly the flag at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. If you have a flag pole, consider joining the tradition this year.
  3. Thank A Veteran. While Memorial Day is a time for remembering and honoring our fallen soldiers, it’s also a wonderful time to thank soldiers past and present who are right here in our midst today.  Many of our inspectors are veterans – thank you for your service. Don’t know a veteran or want to do more? Write a letter to a veteran or soldier! Check out OperationGratitude.com for more information about writing letters or sending care packages to soldiers currently deployed.
  4. Participate in our National Moment of Remembrance. In an effort to ensure Memorial Day is the sacred and noble holiday it is intended to be, the National Moment of Remembrance asks all of us to pause for 1 minute in an act of national unity wherever we are at 3 PM local time on Memorial Day.
  5. Buy A Poppy. During the days leading up to Memorial Day, members of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) accept donations for poppies. The poppy’s significance to Memorial Day derives from John McCrae’s poem, “In Flanders Fields.” Disabled and needy veterans in VA hospitals have been assembling Buddy Poppies since 1924. Purchase a poppy and your donation assists in maintaining state and national rehabilitation and service programs for veterans.

Our veterans have fought around the world, in places like Europe, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.  These wars have helped preserve freedom and liberty around the world and at home and have kept us safe.

It is no secret that democracy and freedom have required sacrifices. Our men and women in uniform are the ones who make those sacrifices to keep us free, no matter the cost.

Words cannot fathom how our communities, families, and loved ones feel towards our fallen soldiers. They have given everything to make sure that we are free. We have all seen the stories on the news of fallen soldiers returning home and their entire community paying their respects to a soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep them safe.

Today we remember the fallen and show our gratitude for those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms in the U.S. Happy Memorial Day!

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