For many people, Memorial day is simply a vacation day, a paid holiday, a long weekend. The day is typically spent relaxing, having a cook-out, and spending time with family.
Memorial day was originally called "Decoration day," and was established in 1868. It was celebrated on May 30th to honor men and women who have died while serving in the military. In 1971, Congress declared the celebration a national holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May, and changed the name to "Memorial Day." Thousands of men and women have given their lives in serving our country. Here at CAB, we are no strangers to caring for retired veterans, or the spouses of those lost while serving our country. We see it as one of the highest honors to be able to care for someone who once cared for us so fearlessly. I am thankful for this sacrifice and grateful for the freedom I have as an American, due to their ultimate sacrifice of life. How can we better celebrate and honor their sacrifices made?
- Fly your flag at half staff from sunrise until noon only, then raise it briskly to the top of the staff until sunset.
- Attend a local service or ceremony in your community - This may be difficult due to social distancing guidelines, but many are being streamed virtually this year.
- Practice an act of kindness towards a current military member or living veteran - We'll be giving our clients who are retired veterans some extra love for sure!
- Visit a local memorial - Just be sure to wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart from others!
- Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance with a moment of silence at 3 PM.
- Take the time to sit down and ask the loved veterans in your life stories of the past - You might learn something new!
For myself, Memorial Day brings some deep emotions. After caring for my grandmother for 10 years, she passed away on Memorial Day in 2012. She buried two husbands, both of whom served in World War II. She had 2 brothers and a sister, who served in the Great War as well. I am planning on spending my day traveling to Williamsburg, KY, to visit the family cemetery. I will see that it is well tended and might even bring some flowers or flags!
It was an honor to care for my grandmother. Thank you to all who have, or are currently serving! We pause to remember you on this Memorial Day. I pause to remember my own family members who took part in the war, whether going or being the ones left behind. I pause to remember a day that signifies my grandma traveling to her new heavenly home. Whatever way you choose to spend the day, pause and give thanks for our freedom provided through those who bravely fought for it for us!
Some of CAB's team members are certified in aiding veterans with receiving proper benefits as they age. Give us a call at 865-444-6787 if you have any questions, and would like our help!
Sources: US Department of VA Affairs, VA.gov
Written By: Care Manager - Paula Anderson, RN