I don’t normally write on Mondays, and I don’t normally share the contents of my weekly newsletter publicly. I suppose today I am making a couple of exceptions.
Today is a special day. Today is a day when we remember those who fought for our country but are no longer with us. In this week’s edition of my e-newsletter, I took a minute to reflect on what this day means, and how we should interact with Veterans today. Things we should say and things we shouldn’t. What this day is all about, and what this day is not about.
Here is the newsletter, in its entirety:
It’s hard to believe that another Memorial Day is upon us.
Today is a day to spend with family, cookout, and to remember those veterans who served our country and are no longer with us today. Many people consider today to be the “unofficial” start to summer.
Most people have very fond memories of Memorial Day.
But if you or someone you know served in the military, your view of this day could be completely different.
Memorial Day is a day to remember those who served our country in the military but are no longer with us. And it doesn’t matter whether they died in service or long after they were discharged.
During the day today, if you encounter someone who served in the military, consider the thoughts and emotions that may be going through their heads on this day of remembrance. They very well may have lost friends who served alongside them.
According to Chris Wilson, a Marine Corps Veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2011, many Veterans don’t want to be thanked for their service on Memorial Day. Today is not a day to thank Veterans – it’s a day to remember their fallen friends. The phrase “thank you for your service” is said so often that it has almost become meaningless.
So if you come across a Veteran today, remember that today is not about them, but rather the men and woman who fought with them, but either didn’t come home or have passed away since.
Here are some other suggested phrases to use if you meet a Veteran:
“I hope you enjoy your weekend, and I want you to know that I will be remembering what this holiday is all about.”
“Enjoy your day today, I will be thinking about those who are no longer with us.”
“I will be taking a moment this weekend to honor those that served our great nation and are no longer here with us today.”
And if you or someone you know is struggling today, now is a time to seek help. You can call the Veteran’s Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.
I hope we can all take a moment today to think about the men and woman who have served our country so bravely and are no longer with us.
Enjoy your day, hug a Veteran, and I’ll be back next week…