The Meaning of Memorial Day

Too often the real meaning behind Memorial Day is forgotten. To many, the day simply represents the start of summer, the opening of the pools, a day off from work, and the chance for a cookout. A gleeful day.

Let us not forget the purpose of Memorial Day – to solemnly remember our men and women in uniform who have selflessly given their lives, donning the American flag, for our freedom. It’s day of solemn remembrance, but it’s also a day of heartfelt patriotism and respect for the incredible individuals that choose to serve this nation’s military and the values that are fought for across the globe: freedom and peace.

This notion, that you sometimes have to fight for peace, seems like a paradox to many. How can “violence” achieve peace? My friends, violence and the abuse of human rights left unaddressed will surely lead to a more violent world, and never peace. So, yes, we have to fight for peace. And God bless the men and women of our nation who volunteer to take up that cross on behalf of those of us at home.

What You Can Do

First, remember. Remember the fallen, and if you have children, explain to them what the day is about. If you’re looking for tangible ways to honor our men and women in uniform, check out these websites:

1). The Murph Challenge. The Murph Challenge was created to honor Lt. Michael P. Murphy who sacrificed his life in Operation Red Wings, a mission that became well-known to the public through Marcus Luttrell’s retelling of the events inĀ Lone Survivor. Geared towards people who are in Crossfit-shape, the challenge raises money for a scholarship foundation in Lt. Mike Murphy’s name.

2). Charity Miles. Download the Charity Miles app to your phone, which has a GPS mechanism to track your runs, walks, and outdoor biking. Before tracking your run, you select a charity, and each mile you log will donate money to that charity. Some organizations that would be fitting to donate to on Memorial Day include the USO, Team Red, White & Blue, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

3). Be more engaged in serving our military members and their families throughout the year. Adopt a military member to send care packages to, raise awareness of organizations like Fisher House, and perhaps most importantly, say two important words to the veterans around you: “Thank you.”