With the Run For The Wall completing their coast to coast ride in the United States in Washington DC on the 27th of May 2023, many of those who took part in the ride are now on their way home. Probably during their journey back, if they are still riding this coming Monday, May 29th 2023, they will make a stop somewhere, maybe to see family or friends from the service to reflect on this day.
Memorial Day is a solemn occasion that holds a special place in the hearts of many. It serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by countless brave men and women who gave their lives in service to their country. Beyond the barbecues and sales events, it is crucial to pause and reflect on the true meaning behind this day. In this post, we will delve into the significance of Memorial Day, its history, and explore ways in which we can honor and remember fallen heroes.
The Origins and Evolution of Memorial Day
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the aftermath of the American Civil War. It was established to honor the Union soldiers who perished during the conflict. Over time, it evolved to encompass the remembrance of all Americans who died in military service. In 1971, Memorial Day was officially recognized as a federal holiday, observed on the last Monday of May each year.
Honoring Our Fallen Heroes
Visiting Memorials and Cemeteries
A meaningful way to pay tribute to fallen soldiers is by visiting memorials, national cemeteries, or local graveyards where military personnel are laid to rest. This act of remembrance allows us to connect with the sacrifices made and express gratitude for their service.
Flying the Flag at Half-Staff
Traditionally, the U.S. flag is flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day. It symbolizes the reverence and mourning for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Observing this custom is a powerful gesture to honor the memory of our fallen heroes.
Taking part in Memorial Day Parades and Events
Many communities organize parades and events to commemorate Memorial Day. Joining these gatherings not only shows support for veterans and their families but also brings the community together in a shared remembrance of the sacrifices made by those who served.
Educating the Next Generation
A fantastic aspect of the Run For The Wall is their interaction with youth. Visiting various schools and engaging with youth is very important if there is to be a continuation of remembrance for generations to come.
Preserving the memory and significance of Memorial Day requires passing on its meaning to future generations. Parents, teachers, and community leaders play a vital role in educating children about the sacrifices made by military personnel. By teaching them about the history, valor, and impact of these heroes, we ensure that their memory endures.
Supporting Veterans and Active Service Members
While Memorial Day specifically honors the fallen, it is also an opportunity to acknowledge and support the living veterans and active service members. Donating to organizations that provide help, sending care packages, or volunteering at veterans’ hospitals are all meaningful ways to show appreciation for their dedication and service.
As Memorial Day arrives each year, it is crucial to remember the purpose behind this solemn holiday. It is a time for reflection, gratitude, and remembrance for the brave men and women who laid down their lives for freedom. Freedom is not free. It comes with a heavy expense and toll upon one’s country to attain it and then subsequently maintain it.
By participating in meaningful activities, educating future generations, and supporting veterans, we can ensure that their sacrifices are never forgotten. Let us honor the fallen heroes with reverence and strive to build a world that reflects the values they fought to defend.
The Rolling Barrage PTSD Foundation, The Rolling Barrage, Board of Directors, Executive, Provincial Reps and Volunteers extend our heartfelt appreciation to our neighbours, allies, friends, family, brothers and sisters who have served, and continue to serve. We will remember them. They will never be forgotten.