Memorial Day: How to Celebrate the Right Way–With Gratitude

Memorial Day: How to Celebrate the Right Way–With Gratitude

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Today on Memorial Day, Americans are supposed to honor the soldiers who died to protect the nation’s freedom and safety. The men and women who chose to serve their country give so much— and this weekend we have an opportunity to do something for them and their families.

We can reflect on what Memorial Day means and discuss the meaning with our children, family, and friends.

The federal holiday started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action.

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We can observe the National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, which asks Americans, at 3 p.m., local time, to pause in silence for 1 minute in an act of national unity. 3 p.m. was chosen because it is when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday, which always falls on the last Monday in May.  All Major League Baseball games halt, NASCAR race tracks go silent, Amtrak train whistles sound across the country, and hundreds of other nationwide participants remind Americans to pause.

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Another way to honor the fallen is to volunteer or donate money to support organizations that help family members of fallen soldiers. Just imagine the impact and the message of “thanks” if we each donated $20, or wrote a personalized card to a nonprofit that supports military families. An easy and meaningful way we can all say, “Thanks.”

One nonprofit lets you get involved by writing cards to grieving families.

Soldiers’ Angels Living Legends Team sends personalized sympathy cards when a soldier dies and each year on the anniversary of that death to ensure families that their loved ones are never forgotten. You can write letters or donate to the cause.

Check out Brad Aronson’s blog to see more nonprofits to support.

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