Military Veterans Blog

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This page features blog posts and articles from our Military & Veterans AG.

Memorial Day – posted on 15 May 2024

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives while defending their country.

What significance does Memorial Day hold for you? Our co-leads share their thoughts on the meaning of Memorial Day.

Helen Mills: “Memorial Day to me is a day of remembrance and thankfulness. Growing up around so many who were serving or served in the military, Memorial Day was never just a long weekend. We took time to remember the friend we lost in Iraq. We wore poppies and laid flowers. We thanked those whom we never had a chance to thank for their service. I am grateful for every single service member who does come home and take Memorial Day to remember and thank those who didn’t. “

Jaymie Brain: “Memorial Day for me is a day of remembrance. It’s a day to pay tribute to all fallen service members and remember the friends and family we lost while serving their country.

It’s a very personal day for me. Every service member accepts the inherent risks when they raise their hand and take the Oath of Enlistment / Oath of Commissioned Officers. While we hope we never lose a brother or sister in arms, the possibility of loss is real. Memorial Day is an opportunity for reflection and gratitude – I choose to spend the day with people I love,  write letters to the parents or spouses of fallen service members that I served alongside, and visit a friend’s grave.

A friendly reminder, if you see coins on a headstone please leave them there; they have a special meaning.”

Lisa Malmanger: “Memorial Day for me is a day to honor our fellow service members who didn’t make it home. It’s a reminder of war’s grim reality. When I was young, I looked forward to the long weekend from school, hanging out with my friends oblivious to the day’s meaning. It wasn’t until my military service that I grasped the true essence of Memorial Day and the immense sacrifices made by service members. As I’ll be abroad this year, I’ve decided to contribute to veteran organizations dedicated to assisting the families of those who have given their all to serve our nation.”