Memorial Day - A Time To Honor America's Heroes

May 27, 2021

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

– Joseph Campbell

Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?

The day is to honor the men and women who died while serving in the military. These brave men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice and knowingly put themselves in harm’s way to further protect our country and the lives of others serving. Whether they died while serving or died after service, all are remembered equally.

Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day to mark the end of the Civil War in 1865. The name of the day officially changed to Memorial Day in 1967 and later “declared” a federal holiday in 1971. The idea of Decoration Day came about from the “decorating” or placing flowers, flags, and wreaths at the grave sites of the soldiers who died in battle.

What is the significance of a red poppy flower worn on Memorial Day?

The red poppy flower first began as a national symbol of remembrance in 1920’s and the official flower of The American Legion. The red poppy flower was chosen as a symbol due to its resiliency to blossom in the battle fields of France and Belgium. The Friday before Memorial Day is also known as National Poppy Day.


A field of red poppy flower. The red poppy flower was chosen as a symbol due to its resiliency to blossom.

Image by Roman Grac from Pixabay

How does Unity honor veteran patients?

One out of every four dying Americans is a Veteran. With Unity, veterans facing advanced illness and the end-of-life receive specialized care and support to address their unique set of medical, emotional and spiritual needs.

  • Customized Care Plans – Goals of care are based on the branch and era of military service, service related illnesses/conditions and past experiences.
  • Specially Trained Psychosocial Staff – Staff are trained to assist with unresolved issues associated with the stresses of military service, PTSD, depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • Grief Support – Unity’s grief counselors support veterans’ loved ones through one-on-one support, grief groups and memorial services with special veteran honor and recognition.
  • Veteran Resources – Unity’s collaboration with area Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, American Legion posts and Veteran Administration agencies connects families with the resources needed for veteran benefits, honor flight applications, military honor funerals, burial assistance and more.
  • Jack & Engrid Meng Hospice Residence – Special veteran recognition at the Meng Hospice Residence includes the Veteran Walk of Honor and Veteran Memorial Candle Lighting.
  • Veteran-to-Veteran Companion Program – Specially trained veteran volunteers are partnered with Unity patients of similar background. The camaraderie created between the veterans has proven supportive for all involved, bringing great peace and closure.
  • Sgt. David L. Rasmussen Fund – Established in honor of David’s service in the U.S. Army, the fund supports veterans who are receiving care from Unity and are in need of financial assistance to cover the costs of basic needs.


A trained Unity veteran volunteer, partnered with Unity patients of similar background.

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 hospice and palliative care providers.

Call Unity Hospice at 800-990-9249 if you have any questions or learn more about Unity’s specialized veteran services at Vetercan Care.

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