Memorial Day is More Than
the End of a Three-Day Weekend
One of VFW's most sacred obligations is remembering the nation's defenders who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. And it is up to us to set an example for others to follow.
We are the nation's largest group of war veterans. We've served in harm's way. Many of us know intimately what it is like to lose friends on faraway battlefields.
That's why we - as VFW members - should always strive to keep their memories alive and demonstrate to others how to observe Memorial Day. Our communities expect us to show them how to do it correctly.
Most VFW Post commanders know how to properly observe
Memorial Day. For those who don't, here are a few ideas:
Host a patriotic program:
Invite the public to your facility. National Headquarters has prewritten speeches appropriate for such an occasion.
Distribute Buddy Poppies:
This is our official flower and was created specifically to remember troops who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
March in parades:
The sight of a squared away honor guard lends credibility to any Memorial Day parade. If your town doesn't host such a parade, organize one. It's a great way to garner publicity, too.
Place flags on veterans graves:
This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with youth groups. You can explain how veterans sacrifices have ensured the American way of life and pay the proper respects at the same time.
More than 1.2 million Americans have died in uniform since the Revolutionary War. Their lives were cut short so the rest of us could live free and pursue our dreams.
Memorial Day was conceived by veterans and their families as a way to recognize and remember them. But for too many Americans, it is merely a three-day weekend, a holiday celebrating the official beginning of summer.
We must remind the public that those who have died in uniform are not just names on a piece of marble or stone in a city park. They are people who left behind grieving families and a legacy of service to which all Americans should aspire.
So do your part to keep the focus on why we observe this special day.
Our communities expect it, and our brothers and sisters-in-arms who paid the ultimate price for all of us