Honor and Remember

Each year on the last Monday of May, our nation pauses to remember the brave military service men and women who served our country and died. On Memorial Day we honor their willingness to put themselves in harm’s way to protect this nation’s citizens and our freedom. With gratitude, we reflect on all those who selflessly served with honor, integrity, and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Pride and Pain

For the past 27 years over Memorial Day weekend, The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) hosts their annual National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp in Washington D.C. TAPS’ mission is to provide comfort, care, and resources to all those grieving the death of a military loved one, regardless of cause of death. Military families gather to connect with others who also have experienced the death of a service member, participate in groups and activities promoting healing, and gain tools to support them in their grief. TAPS provides specialized programing through peer-to-peer support for adults. Youth Programs connects children and teens with their own military mentor, while providing grief support through age specific activities.

Volunteering with TAPS has shown me that Memorial Day’s meaning can be found in both pride for service and pain in grief. It is a privilege to connect with military families and hear their stories of love and admiration for their service member. Themes of commitment, love of country, and bravery are shared as is the pride families feel for their loved one and service to our Nation. In this space, families also share the pain of grief and challenges they face living life without their loved one. Listening to their stories has taught me the importance of honoring their legacy, speaking their names, and never forgetting their sacrifice.

As we remember our Nations’ Heroes this Memorial Day, take time to honor their sacrifice, service, and the families who continue their legacy.

 

With gratitude, we reflect on all those who selflessly served with honor, integrity, and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Image by Keturah Moller from Pixabay

 

Ways to Honor and Remember

        1. Attend a Memorial Day Parade or Service
          • Many communities host Memorial Day parades and Memorial Day Services. Consider what opportunities are in your area and attend with family or friends.
        2. Visit a Veteran’s Memorial, Monument, or Cemetery
          • Visit a local Veteran’s monument or memorial and bring flowers or a flag to leave in honor of those who died.
          • If you have a family member that served in the military who has died, visit their grave, share memories, and take time to learn about their military service.
        3. Watch the National Memorial Day Concert
          • On Memorial Day PBS broadcast The 32nd Annual National Memorial Day Concert featuring stories honoring fallen service members, musical performances, and a Salute to the Services.
          • Check your local listings or visit here to stream the concert live.
        4. Connect with and Support Families of the Fallen
          • Remember the families of the fallen and all those grieving the death of a Military Service Member. These families have made sacrifices in service to our country by supporting their Service Member and are a living legacy.
        5. Learn more about organizations supporting those grieving the death of a Military Service Member.
        6. Take the time to share the importance and meaning of Memorial Day with children through conversation, craft projects or reading books.

Contact Unity Hospice at 800-990-9249 to speak with a grief counselor or visit our website here to learn more about how we can support you. Unity is proud to be a partner in the We Honor Veterans program, a collaboration of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help improve the care veterans receive. If you have any questions or want to learn more about Unity’s specialized veteran services, visit: https://unityhospice.org/veteran-care/.

 

If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.