Commemorate and Show Support on Memorial Day

Memorial Day 2017 is here and with it we mark the unofficial start of summer. There are great sales, parties, and a day off from work and school. In all the excitement it is very easy to lose site of the solemn reason for this national holiday.

On Memorial Day we honor the 1+ million U.S. soldiers who have lost their lives in service. One way to honor the fallen is by visiting graves of soldiers and placing a flag or flower at each one. Another observance is flying the U.S. flag at half-staff. The official ceremony has the flag raised quickly to the top of the staff and then slowly lowered to half-staff. Then at noon it is returned to full-staff. While raised at half-staff we are called to remember all those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. When it is returned to full staff we are called to honor their sacrifice by acting to protect our freedom at all costs. Learn more about Memorial Day and its obrservances at

In addition to the traditional observances, we can also commemorate the holiday by showing our support to our current active military, their families, and our veterans. May is, in fact, National Military Appreciation Month. How would you like to show your support? A great reference is the article, Ways to Show Support to Military Families and Veterans.

One tangible way to support our troops is to start or donate to a drive collecting goods to benefit military members. You can support military far from home by purchasing goods that will be placed in comfort packages and mailed to our active duty troops overseas by Operation Support Our Troops – America via their We Support While You Serve online drive.

Or, choose to support military families here at home. You can purchase most-needed goods to help military families in need this summer served by Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst via their Summer Support for Military Families online drive.

So, amidst the fun and excitement of the weekend, let's all remember to take a moment to remember those brave soldiers who gave their lives fighting for our freedom and to support those today who have committed their lives to protecting our great nation and all its citizens.

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