Some of you may know that both of us have family members who have served or are serving. Jeni’s son served as a Marine and her significant other retired after over 20 years of service in the Army. Teresa’s brother served in the Navy during the Vietnam war, her youngest son serves in the US Army reserves and her eldest is active in the US Army Infantry. They are adamant that this is not a day about them. It’s about those who died in the line of duty. Even so, we are both thankful that our loved ones came home and we honor those who did not. We are truly thankful for all of their sacrifices.
At this time of the year, it is important that we realize not only the sacrifice of those who died, but also the memories our surviving soldiers carry of the comrades they have lost while on deployments. Please be sensitive to their grief as we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Memorial day is the day we honor those who have served and paid the ultimate price for the freedoms and life that we, as Americans, enjoy. We dedicate this blog to those who have paid this price and to those that they’ve left behind.
This is a time to remember. Remember the fallen and those who have been left behind to carry on. Remember the service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our rights and freedoms.
For the historians out there, Decoration Day was established on May 5, 1968 as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. It wasn’t until 1971 that Memorial Day (as it came to be called) became an official federal holiday.
While we may not have our regular get-togethers this year to celebrate the holiday, we can still take time out to honor those who have paid this price for our freedoms.
Some suggestion on how to honor our fallen heroes:
- Fly the American Flag – half-staff from sunrise to noon and then full staff noon to sunset.
- Place American Flags on each grave in national cemeteries.
- Observe a moment of silence.
- The National Moment of Silence occurs at 3pm local time on Memorial Day.
- Visit a Memorial - find the visiting Vietnam Walls or other memorials.
- Donate to veterans and military support groups. For a list see resources below.
- Wear a red poppy.
- The wearing of the poppy dates to 1918 and is called The Flanders Field Memorial Poppy in honor of those who died in World War I.
- Read “In Flanders Fields” or “ We Shall Keep the Faith”
While many who read this know the grief that comes from losing our spouse, we can only imagine the grief that comes from losing a family member in the service and having to carry on. As many of us know, the grieving can be a poignant and challenging time. Their loved one is gone and they are sincerely missed by many. Honoring them is a part of the grieving process. However it may show up, allow them to embrace grieving that loss.
We know that the grieving process is a true journey that takes time. You don’t get over it...you learn to live with it and the memories. This journey takes its own path and is deeply personal. Allow grief to happen and support those around you who are traveling the journey---however it looks.
We have so much respect for those who have served before us and paid that ultimate price while serving in our military. We honor both them and their surviving families that carry on without their loved ones. On this Memorial Day, we remember, honor and embrace you.
Much peace and blessings to you.
Teresa & Jeni
We would love to hear your stories and get your input. We would love to learn from you. SHARE YOUR STORY!
Memorial Day & Veterans Resources
Memorial Day Specific Information, History, Ways to Honor
Veteran, Soldier, Family and Widow Support
- Free Coaching for Veterans - http://www.standbesidethem.org/
- Charities Supporting Soldiers and Their Families:
- Society of Military Widows: http://www.militarywidows.org/home.aspx
- American Widow Project http://americanwidowproject.org/
- Folds of honor: https://www.foldsofhonor.org/