For many people, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer vacation season. Celebrations, pool parties, parades, and grill-outs occur every year on the last Monday in May. Memorial Day has always been a symbolic and sentimental day for me. I find myself calling the families of the men I knew who were killed in action, assisting in planting flags at my alma mater, or sharing memories of past heroes among new acquaintances.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day. I will never be arrogant enough to correct someone who thanks me for my service, but there is a difference between these two holidays. On Memorial Day, we salute our servicemembers who died in service to our country. Veterans Day commemorates all those who have served in the military.

This year, I hope that you are able to reflect and perhaps pass on a story about one of our fallen heroes. By remembering them, we keep their sacrifices alive and shine a light on what it means to be selfless. At 1500 hours (3 p.m.), Congress has enacted a national moment of silence. Feel free to pass this on to anyone you know. I’ve heard the rhetoric of people who don’t treat Memorial Day as it was meant. Let’s not be critical of people or treat them as ignorant, but rather inform them and be encouraging. I think this is what our fallen would have wanted. We are the land of the free, home of the brave. In remembrance, please post anyone’s name or story in the comments. Be blessed and safe on this Memorial Day weekend.

Respectfully,

Drew

This article was written by Drew Dwyer and originally published in 2016. It has been edited for republication.

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