by Skip Cohen
I always start my Memorial Day post the same way - with a reminder of what the day was initially meant to be, this year from the History site:
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2021 will occur on Monday, May 31.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Historically, the day started to honor those who died serving the U.S. Military, but for so many of us, it's become a day to honor those who have served and are still serving. For me, it's also a day to honor those families with members who currently serve and the sacrifices they make every day in support of our country.
In 2014 I took my Dad on HonorFlight. They're a fantastic organization bringing together military veterans and showing appreciation for their service. The image above is of our son Brian, who's military, and joined my Dad and me in Washington for the tour. They're reflected in the Vietnam Memorial. Dad couldn't walk very far on his own and finally gave in to a wheelchair. ( I know I've shared the image before, but it's one of my favorites.)
2020 was a tough year for HonorFlight, and as the challenges of the pandemic subside, they'll come back. In the meantime, check out these stats:
So, to our son Brian who's currently serving, my Dad, Uncle Randy, all my friends who have served and to all the families of members of our military now - thank you for your service!
And from the HonorFlight archives:
"If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read this in English, thank a veteran."
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.