Saturday, May 25, 2024

Memorial Day Tribute 2024

Memorial Day at BeachThis weekend, and particularly on Monday, we set aside a special day to remember and honor our brave troops who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Without their sacrifice, we certainly would not be able to enjoy the vast freedoms that we currently possess. I'm speaking or course about Memorial Day, a day of somber remembrance and gratitude.

Unfortunately, for many folks, the holiday has devolved into cookouts, ball games, and Memorial Day sales. I got an email from a well-known orthodox ministry wishing everyone a “Happy Memorial Day” along with a link to their special Memorial Day sale. This ministry is usually one of the best and they typically assign great honors to our military, but I think they inadvertently dropped the ball on this.

We're sometimes approached by well-meaning folks that would like to offer their sincere appreciation for a family's loss, but simply don't know the best way. I'm certainly no expert, and there's probably no single “best way” but I'll attempt to offer some suggestions.

I typically try to refrain from saying “Happy Memorial Day”. For those Gold Star Families (families that have lost a loved one in their service to their country), Memorial Day is not a happy day, but a day of both bittersweet remembrance of their loved one and reflection on their lives together. We suggest expressing your appreciation of their great sacrifice and then follow their lead. Some might prefer to grieve by sharing stories of their loved one, while for others, they may want to remember in silence, but just being there and offering support is usually very comforting.

Let us also not forget the fellow troops of those who lost members of their squads. Members of the military are very close, sometimnes even closer than blood relatives. Most of us know of many veterans who still suffer from depression, and it is often much worse on Memorial Day weekends.

Other ways of showing support is flying American flags, attending Memorial Day parades, and teaching your children proper respect for our veterans. Yes, we can have our barbeques and other celebrations, but we must never forget those who make it all possible. God Bless our Brave Troops. May we never forget.