Editorial: Remember the real reason for Memorial DayPublished 9:58pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Memorial Day weekend usually conjures up visions of backyard barbecues, ice-cold beer, sandy beaches and — if you’re lucky — an extra day off work.
But as much as we welcome the unofficial start of summer and a day when we don’t have to punch the clock, take a moment or two to remember the purpose of Memorial Day — to honor those who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Other than attending a parade, breakfast or ceremony, here are some other ways to show your appreciation for veterans and their families:
• Simply say “thank you.” A smile and a handshake, even better.
• Volunteer to help a veteran or a veterans’ organization. For ways to help locally, contact Volunteer Southwest Michigan: 683-5464 or visit www.volunteerswmi.org.
• Donate. Great causes include the Wounded Warrior Project (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ 904-296-7350); the USO (www.uso.org/888-484-3876); and the VFW Department of Michigan (www.vfwmi.org/517-485-9456).
• Write a letter. If you don’t know a soldier, write to “A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20307-5001.
All it takes is one simple action to make one soldier or veteran’s day. Take that time this weekend.
This editorial represents the views of the editorial board.