While you’re enjoying your three-day weekend, make sure you take a break from barbecuing, beer drinking and beach-going to pause and reflect on the reason for the holiday in the first place.
In fact, Memorial Day weekend shouldn’t be a time of celebration, but rather people should take a moment of silence or visit and decorate the graves of service members who died in battle.
Scouts BSA did just that at Restwood Memorial Park last week and have been doing so every Memorial Day and Veterans Day since 1985. The Scouts showed their respect by decorating the graves of veterans with flags.
Many people confuse the meaning of Memorial Day with that of Veterans Day. While the confusion is understandable, learning the difference is important for giving respect and honor where it’s due.
Veterans Day, set every year for Nov. 11, is a day for celebrating all U.S. military veterans, living or dead, combat unit or desk job, injured or otherwise. All veterans are remembered on this day, even those who never saw combat or served during war time.
While it’s always a good idea to personally thank or honor veterans any time, any day of the year, Memorial Day isn’t the best occasion for that.
The roots of Memorial Day run deep in our history. The observance came about originally in 1868, then known as Decoration Day, as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of war dead with flowers following the Civil War.
The practice continued expanding to honor military personnel killed in all wars and officially became a federal holiday in 1971. It has continued to grow in popularity since then.
Memorial Day is set aside for paying tribute to all the 1.45 million-plus American service members who gave their lives for this country by dying during combat.
Let the Scouts’ simple deed of laying flags inspire your family to learn about the sacrifices of war and the price of upholding the country’s freedom.
Make a habit of thanking a veteran every chance you get, but save Memorial Day for those who gave everything for our country.