They give their lives for the sake of others. To their families that lent them to us, they were sons, fathers, mothers, and daughters. They do a job many of us would rather not think about for people they have never met. They are heroes. These heroes gave their lives knowing that they were making the way for their friends, family and future generations to enjoy the same freedoms that they did. This memorial day, I am asking myself how can I Honor the fallen heroes who gave their life so that I may live free?
1. Observe the National Moment of Remembrance
It becomes easy on Memorial Day to see it as just another time to BBQ with close friends and family, a day off from the craziness of life. The National Moment of Remembrance helps us to remember its significance during the time with our loved ones. This year, take a moment and reflect on the sacrifice made for us. Let us remember in unity at 3:00 on Memorial Day
“I love you, and thank you for doing what we were all prepared to do.” – Joe Chiprez, United States Marine Corps Veteran, when asked what he would say to a fallen brother.
2. Fly Your Flag with Proper Memorial Day Etiquette
The first half of the day commemorates our fallen heroes, while the second half honors those that are still alive. We bring the flag immediately to full-staff then slowly lower it to half-staff to show respect and mourning. At noon we raise the flag back to full-staff to honor our living veterans.
“It hits a little closer to home on Memorial Day, it’s a time for me to reflect.” – Joe Chiprez, United States Marine Corps Veteran
3. Post in Honor of a Hero on Social Media
If you have a relative that served and has passed, take some time to post a photo and written thanks to them on Social Media. Share what their service meant to you. You can ask others to join in on the conversation and share in the tribute with you.
“It was an incredible bond [between brothers], there’s no way to describe it.” – Joe Chiprez, United States Marine Corps Veteran
4. Love on Purpose
Our heroes gave their lives out of love for country, family, friends, and their brother next to them. Let us love. Treat others with dignity and respect even if we don’t agree with them. Buy someone’s dinner, pay for another’s gas, or simply shake their hand and show that you care. We can honor their sacrifice by paying love forward.
“Your greatest sacrifice is to lay down your life for your friends.” – Jonathan Jay Whitney, U.S. Army Veteran
5. Take Some Time to Journal About Them
Many of us who have lost loved ones are still dealing with grief. One way that we work through this process is by journaling about them. Take some time this Memorial Day and write what their service mean to you.
“It’s not just the guys that gave up their lives, their families sacrificed too.” – Joe Chiprez, United States Marine Corps Veteran
6. Share With Others
Remembering can be difficult, especially on a day like this. You don’t have to go through it alone. We have a group of caring people who will walk by your side through life’s most difficult experiences. We offer GriefShare in Yakima each Wednesday at 6:00. Sign up today, we would love to meet you. You can find our group on griefshare.org.
“They weren’t perfect people, they were people like us, willing to serve and die for others.” – Joe Chiprez, United States Marine Corps
Written by Derek Johnson