Veterans Notes On Memorial Day

Veterans Notes On Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a holiday where many Americans celebrate by spending time with family and friends outside and enjoying the coming summer weather. As a veteran, you may have a different view and perspective on the day that was created to honor and remember those who died while in service to our country. Here are a few reflections from your fellow veterans:

Regarding the conflict in the Middle East.

“People in the service are giving their lives almost on a daily basis, so you have to have a day where you remember sacrifices.”

-Retired U.S. Army General Bob Drolet


Since September 11, 2001, about half of U.S. veterans have
served alongside someone who was killed,
and that number rises for men and women in combat.

Because of first-hand  horrors experienced in battle, many active-duty service members and veterans spend Memorial Day a bit differently than the average American.

“I’m proud to be a civilian and I’m proud to be a Marine. On Memorial Day, I remember my fallen comrades, but I also go to visit the graves of those who may have been forgotten. There is a cemetery in Philadelphia that has a Civil War veteran who I will go see. He has long been forgotten and no one thinks about him. I walk around there and pay my respects to his memory.”

-Marine Corps Captain David Danelo

Many service members commemorate Memorial Day by Participating the ‘Flags In’ ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. 

"It's kind of an emotional process, because I feel connected to each one of these soldiers that served before me. So it's kind of like a brotherhood thing. We just want to take care of our brothers and sisters, make sure they look good." 

-Private First Class Michael Samuel, U.S. Army 

Sometimes there is a feeling that civilians could make more of an effort to pay their respects to fallen service members.

 "When soldiers die, they don't just roll over and quit like in the movies. They fight like hell, and sometimes they lose. The biggest loser is the family, though. The next biggest losers are the guys who were with the soldier. Many times they've got survivor's guilt. Sometimes I think that people who are not directly involved just don’t get it.”
-Staff Sergeant Luke Murphy, U.S. Army

Murphy says that in addition to taking a moment on Memorial Day to pause, honor, and remember those who died while in service, you can donate to organizations that support making the lives of service members who have been wounded in conflict better. 

Here are some options to consider:

We wish you all a happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend. Thank you for your service.


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