While we are all enjoying a lazy day around the house, at the pool or cook outs with friends and family, let’s not forget the real reason and the real people for which we celebrate Memorial Day (and Veterans Day). Please take some time to say thank you & do something for our veterans, current military service members and their families and the families of our fallen heroes, not just today, but every day.
Memorial Day & Veteran’s Day are important days to me because my dad is a Vietnam Veteran, my grandfather was in the National Guard and I have many, many friends and family members who have served or are currently serving our country. Freedom is not free. All of our brave soldiers and their families have sacrificed for our freedom and serve(d) our country with pride. Let’s be sure we are returning the favor and doing something to show our appreciation and serve them and honor their memories too.
Here are a few ways you can show support and serve our veterans, military, our fallen heroes and their families:
- Pray for them. Keep our military service members and veterans in your prayers. Ask your churches to pray for them, their safety, their peace of mind, physical well being and for their spouses and children too.
- Show appreciation. When you see someone in a military uniform, stop and say thank you and shake their hand. It is a very simple thing to do but means so much to them. Also if you see someone wearing a hat or shirt that says Veteran (of any war) on it, stop and thank them for their service too.
- Show support in your community. Attend events or volunteer to help at events that honor our military in your community. From parades to appreciation dinners, to being at the airport to form a receiving / welcoming line for the troops when they come home or being at the funerals with a flag to stand and show support there are many ways you can get involved in community activities that support our military & their families. Motorcyle riders can learn more about honoring our veterans and service members through the Patriot Guard.
- Send care packages and cards. There are numerous organizations that you can send care packages or letters to or “adopt” a soldier. Encourage your school systems or child’s class for the classes to adopt a soldier for the kids to send letters to each year. If you can find local soldiers to adopt that will mean even more. You can learn more about adopting soldiers at these sites: USO Care Package Program, Soldier’s Angels, Adopt a US Soldier, Operation Shoebox, Military Ministry
- Show support to our military families too. The spouses and children of our service members also need support, prayers and encouragement. Being in a military family, especially in today’s times can be very difficult and lonely. You could offer to babysit, help around the house, do yard work, make a goody basket for them or their kids.
- Visit Memorials, walls of remembrance tributes and cemeteries and leave flowers, flags or simply show honor and support for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. The picture in this article is one I took at the US Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. This is looking up from inside the memorial at the flag that flies on top. Nothing will touch your heart more than being at a Memorial like this. Do not let yourself forget that your freedom is not free.
A special thank you to all of our fallen hero’s Veteran’s, current service members and their families for your service and sacrifice. May all of America come together not just on one or two holidays a year but every day to pray, support and serve you as well.