Saying “Thank You”

Posted: May 29, 2007 by April Watkins in Issues, Military
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Soldier and FlagThis week America celebrated Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember and honor the men and women who died while serving their country.  For many Americans this day will pass as simply a holiday from work or school, but for some it will be a bittersweet moment to say “thank you, you are remembered” to friends and loved ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

 

It is important for us to take the time to understand the importance of Memorial Day and to share that understanding with our children. The first official recognition of a special day to remember and honor fallen soldiers was officially designated as May 30 in 1868 by an order of Gen. John A. Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic of the United States of America.  While special days of remembrance had been celebrated by various communities across the country, it was only after World War II that the tradition of May 30 took hold on a national scope.  In 1968, the government set Memorial Day as an official federal holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May.   

 

Over the years, the sacredness of the holiday seems to have been lost to the vacation of the 3-day weekend that opens the summer season.  This has led veterans’ groups, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), to advocate returning to the original date of May 30 to underscore the unique meaning of this tradition.    While Memorial Day is the specific holiday when America remembers her fallen, as citizens we can honor the memory and sacrifices of past heroes any day by supporting today’s military men and women.   Let us say “thank you” to our military personnel for their service through donating time or money to any of the important programs that are helping our military and their families.  AmericaSupportsYou.com is the official website of approved public support programs by the Department of Defense. Below are only a few of the more than 70 programs that provide support.

  • Any Soldierwww.anysoldier.com – Provides letters and care packages to troops in the field.  Monetary donations can be sent to Any Soldier, Inc.,
    P.O. Box 715, Waldorf, MD 20604. 

     

  • Fisher House Foundationwww.fisherhouse.org – Enables family members to be close to their wounded warriors during hospitalization.  Donations:  Fisher House™ Foundation, Inc., 1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600, Rockville, MD 20852.
  • National Military Family Associationwww.nmfa.org  – Administers multiple programs to assist military families. 
  • Operation First Responsewww.operationfirstresponse.org – Provides essentials to wounded troops, helps families with travel and expenses.
  • Operation Home Frontwww.operationhomefront.org – Provides assistance to troops’ families.
  • Sew Much Comfortwww.sewmuchcomfort.org – Provides specially adapted clothing for wounded service members.  Volunteer seamstresses may contact Pat Quintero at patquin@comcast.net or packets@sewmuchcomfort.com. 

As Calvin Coolidge once said, “The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.”  And that is…Why It Matters. 

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