Remembering Why Memorial Day is for Military Families

This is a day to remember those who have lost their lives while in the armed forces of our country.  While it is a federal holiday and a day off for most of us, it also begins the summer season for many resorts.  I think it is easy to get wrapped up in cook-outs, trips and family gatherings and totally forget what this holiday is really about.

I rarely go to an event in any social setting where I do not run into a veteran. 

We need a legacy of care for our veterans
Memorial Day is for remembering those who lost their lives or sacrificed in service to their country. (photo courtesy of

Just last evening I ran into a Vietnam veteran who told me about tragedies and how many died during the taking of Saigon. There are stories after stories of veterans, some of which are tragic and some heroic, but war is always a messy proposition and because of it, our military forces find themselves in many difficult situations that can lead to the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.

families and communities.  In fact, it can have life-long impact to almost everyone in their sphere of influence. So, we should really be remembering the loved ones of those who have lost their lives in service of our military.

Remembering the families of our military.

These families’ wounds are for life, and the memories of their favorite soldier or soldiers continue to live within them.  Although they are forever proud, they are also forever impacted by loss and grief.  Maybe we can offer a listening ear, some compassion or just be present—someone for them to be with and reflect on their lost loved one.

The horrendous reality of military suicide is also a tragedy to be considered. 

We have seen a few downward trends in these statistics, but we are still dealing with an epidemic of suicide among our military due to post-war traumatic stress.  Among our military, we still are struggling to deal with the magnitude of this problem along with the consequences of post-traumatic stress.

It is hard enough to face the deaths of war experiences, but these suicide deaths are in our neighborhoods and communities. We need to be vigilant to help our veterans to prevent having to remember the tragedy of military suicide in our families and communities.

Happy Memorial Day to you all! 

Please remember our military and their families, especially those who have lost their lives, as we celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in this country. If you know of a military family, drop them a note of appreciation and take some time to do something special to encourage them.

It is a holiday where we can take the time to remember those courageous individuals who have sacrificed their lives for us all.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network

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