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Honoring The True Meaning of Memorial Day

Updated on August 29, 2014

How To Honor The True Meaning of Memorial Day

When many people think about Memorial Day, they think of mega sales on new mattresses and used cars, days off from work, and picnics at the beach. Many people are thinking of all kinds of fun events that gratify themselves, instead of the individuals who have earned America's gratitude; they are military service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice to their country.

I am a United States Marine, who has been to Iraq and lost many friends over there, a few who died in my arms, or somewhere very close to me. When I think about Memorial Day, I don't think about picnics, sales, and the appropriate time to wear white.

You might not live close to a military base and not know what you could do to properly observe the hallowed holiday. If you have children, pull out old photo albums of family members who have served in the war. Explain to them the sacrifice these people and their families went through. Some of these Marines and soldiers either died, lost appendages or they just didn't comeback the same.

If you do live by a military base, or a Veteran's hospital, drop off cookies or a care-package to the service men and women. When I was in Iraq, I noticed that we got more and better quality items around the time of Memorial Day. We also had children who wrote us as a class, and they wanted to be pen pals.

I did feel bad when I received one of these care packages, and it wasn't a good time and place to write a thank-you letter. On more than one occasion, I had a small care package that I stored in my truck during a long convoy so that I could open it up as a Christmas present when I felt down. I didn't have access to a post-office on the road and had to get rid of the trash. Plus, in the first bit of the war we were scared that our return addresses would be found, and terrorists would send anthrax in the mail.

One way I remember Memorial Day is go to a veteran cemetery and walk through and mentally pray for them and their families. I also went to the Army Navy store and bought a POW/MIA bracelet of a Marine in Vietnam. I found his family's address (Yes, a little creepy after I mailed it) and mailed them a thank-you card which they wrote me back telling me of a young Marine's life and death,

This Memorial Day remembers the sacrifices our country's service-members have made, and out currently making. Tell a veteran thanks you for their service, and mean it. Memorial Day is not about sales on mattresses or used cars; it's about our military and their families and the sacrifices they have made, and are currently making. These are a few tips you can make when observing Memorial Day




Honoring the True Meaning of Memorial Day, and thank a veteran or a serviceman or servicewoman in your life.

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    • littlething profile image

      Jackie S 

      4 years ago

      Thank you for writing this hub. My brother was in the Army, and he told us that getting the care packages from us was always one of the few high points. People tend to forget what Memorial day is about. Thank you for your service.

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