7 Ideas for Approaching Memorial Day
Memorial Day: It's Not About the Donut Floaties
This weekend has an entirely new meaning for me and my family as we, for the first time, include my brother Jimmy in the long list of soldiers who are remembered.
It isn't the "official start of summer". It isn't a great time for sales. It is a really hard weekend for every single person who has lost their soldier, and there are a lot of us. It is painful. It is raw. It isn't anything to celebrate. It's dark and it begs for respect.
I'd like to make a request of you. Can I do that?
Instead of this weekend being about BBQs and donut floaties, can you try to take a solemn moment to remember what this weekend is really for? I'm not asking for anything grandiose, but even just an energy shift would be monumental once multiplied.
I'm not saying to not have fun, because that is not the case. Have fun. Make memories. Smile, laugh and use the shit out of that donut floatie. But don't make the weekend about the donut floatie.
This weekend is for fallen soldiers, like Jimmy, who lost their lives while on the job serving our country. It is only about them, nothing else.
It isn't about those currently serving in the military, that was last weekend, and it isn't about retired soldiers, that's November 11th. Memorial Day is about those we have lost.
Here are 7 ideas to respectfully approach Memorial Day:
- Hold a minute of silence before your meals and when you're in that silence think of our soldiers and their families
- Visit a military memorial, if there is one nearby, and simply say or think "thank you".
- Donate to a cause that supports the families of fallen soldiers like my personal favorites: The Green Beret Foundation and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
- Talk to your children about this day, what it means and why it is important that we remember to be respectful.
- Visit this page to see the faces of all our fallen soldiers, by clicking on their photos you can read their stories: http://thefallen.militarytimes.com
- Write a card or note to someone you know who has lost a soldier. Heck. Doesn't even have to be someone you know...
- Dedicate your 5k / belly flop / toast to our fallen soldiers. Do it for them. If you need someone specific, please feel free to do it #forjimmy. I know he'd appreciate it.
I hope you have a safe weekend. Thank you for your love.