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By Ali Juten
Memorial Day is more than just “an extra day off”. Though, many people spend the holiday as an unofficial kick-off to summer. While it is just fine to enjoy time with family, it is important to acknowledge why we have the holiday in the first place. No, it is not about spending time at the lake, barbeque, or baseball. It is a day that has been celebrated for nearly 150 years to honor the men and women who have died serving in the U.S. military.
Gone but not forgotten.
My grandfather served under General Patton’s army in World War II. He, thankfully, made it home from the war, otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. He never would talk about what happened when he stormed the beaches of Normandy or helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp, and I will never truly know what he saw. But, what I do know, is that he lost many of his brothers along the way and it just hurt him too dang much to talk about. He saw, first-hand, the reason why we honor our nation’s heroes. He knew exactly what, “Land of the Free, because of the Brave”, actually means.
So, yes, please enjoy the weekend. But please also recognize the fact that the freedom to do so comes at a price.
Here are 3 small things you can do to reflect and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
If you have a flag at your home or place of work, fly it at half-staff from sunrise until noon.
According the U.S flag code, on Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation's battle heroes.
Bring flowers to a military cemetery to pay respect. Each cemetary is a little different, so just be sure you’re aware of the rules.
- Attend a local Memorial Day event. Most cities hold a parade to bring local people together to honor the day.
Or if you don’t live somewhere with Memorial Day events, at the very least, hold a moment of silence for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
From all of us at SSP Eyewear, we say THANK YOU to all of our military men and women who have paid the price for our freedom.