In Olive Branch and elsewhere around the country, we will all soon be celebrating Memorial Day to honor the fallen heroes from American conflicts of the past. Many people are too young to remember all the carnage and casualties from World War II, but there have been more recent conflicts that may have taken a family member. America has had people in the military service die from their involvement in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and several other conflicts in recent history. Senior home care professionals can help their charges honor the fallen from all these conflicts by discussing departed family members and by arranging small celebrations at home to recognize the sacrifices made by service members.
Origins of Memorial Day
Back in 1868, just three years after the conclusion of the Civil War, people began gathering at the National Cemetery to decorate the graves of the dead from that war, which amounted to some 600,000 individuals. Naturally enough, the day came to be called Decoration Day, and it kept that designation for about a century. In 1968, Congress passed a bill called the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, and at that time it was designated an official holiday with the name of Memorial Day. The bill called for Memorial Day to be celebrated on the last Monday in May every year, and that has remained in effect to the present time.
Why we honor fallen heroes
We don’t often think about it, but we are only able to enjoy all the freedoms we have and the lifestyles we all lead because so many American servicemen and women gave their lives protecting those freedoms and lifestyles. Those fallen heroes believed so strongly in the ideals embodied by the Declaration of Independence and other seminal documents that they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to maintain them. If all these men and women were willing to give their lives to ensure the American way of life survived, the least we can do is honor them for the sacrifice they all made. In the midst of the barbecues, parades, and reunions with family members, it only takes a few minutes to pay homage to those heroes who made it all possible.
Since the founding of this country after the Revolutionary War, well over one million men and women have died protecting our freedoms and our way of life. We still have military personnel involved in areas around the world like Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, as well as other hotspots that flare up to grab the attention of the world. It is possible at any time for these volunteers to be involved in combat and to lose their lives in some kind of military action. All service personnel these days are volunteers because no military draft or conscription is in place. That means all military people are willing to make that ultimate sacrifice, should it be necessary in the interest of safeguarding the ideals of the United States.
How we can recognize the sacrifices of past heroes
We can honor the heroes of the past in several ways, and those who continue to give their lives in modern conflicts. On the surface level, it only takes a few minutes to place flowers around the grave of a departed service person, to say a brief prayer for them, or to attend a Memorial Day parade that honors them. But there’s a deeper way we can recognize the sacrifices made by all those past heroes. Remember that they all gave their lives so that future generations like us could enjoy the economic prosperity and the outstanding way of life that we have now.
Given the reason that so many service personnel of the past and present have made that ultimate sacrifice, it seems appropriate that we should all do anything we can to continue the work they did and help make America even greater. There are lots of little things we can all do that can make this country even better. That means setting aside petty differences between us and focusing on the ways that we are all similar, and the ideals that we all hold so dear. Everyone can become involved in community activities that strengthen the fabric of society. Even seniors can volunteer to help younger people through difficult times or to simply be a companion when friendship and a kind word might be needed.
As small as these acts may seem, all of them can have a huge cumulative effect and can make America stronger. This is exactly what our fallen heroes of the past would want from us all – to build on the way of life that they helped to establish for us. This Memorial Day, take a moment to remember and honor what all those past heroes did to make America great – and think of some small act you can do to build on the way of life they secured for us.