On this Memorial Day, many celebrate the unofficial start of the summer season with outdoor gatherings and cookouts, travelling and enjoying the warmth of family and friends. But the true meaning of today brings a deeper sense of reflection for our military, who have made the selfless decision to be part of something greater than themselves.
While originally celebrated as Decoration Day where Civil War Soldiers’ gravesites were decorated with flowers and flags, it grew into a nation-wide groundswell following World War I to commemorate all military personnel killed in wars. In the last 80 years, the United States and its military have answered the call in six declared wars and numerous conflicts. Every person in uniform took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Every person in uniform pledged to support – and some made the ultimate sacrifice.
Today, we respect, thank, remember and support.
Today, less than half of a percent of our population have answered the call by volunteering to serve in our U.S. military. Many that we see graduating from high school over the next few weeks have made the decision to answer the infamous question made by 1LT Travis Manion, “If not me, then who?”
We RESPECT THEM
Today, our U.S. military serve in approximately 750 bases in at least 80 countries worldwide, committed to keeping the watch so that we, our families and our fellow countrymen could sleep soundly in safety, each and every night.
We THANK THEM FOR THEIR SERVICE
And for those gravesites adorned with the American flag, whose selfless acts saved the lives of others…those who executed with great intention, “I am an American, fighting in the forces which protect our country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.”
We REMEMBER THEM
And for those who returned home to their families, maybe a little different than when they first left. Still holding true to the values of serving the only stars and stripes that unites our country – the red, white and blue – we welcome you home.
We SUPPORT THEM
So when you see a Military Servicemember or Veteran today, do more than wishing them a Happy Memorial Day. When you thank them, understand what you are thanking them for…have a conversation with them, their family, or their comrades and appreciate the commitment they made.
WE NEVER FORGET
Below are a few organizations you can support:
About the Author:
Captain Timi Lindsay served in the Navy for 30 years and is now a proud partner and speaker for Diversity Crew. She retired in July 2021 after completing a tour as the Chief Diversity Officer at the United States Naval Academy, where she graduated in 1992.
If you’d like to hear more from Timi or discuss how your company can honor and support veterans, email LetsGo@DiversityCrew.com.