Have a peaceful Memorial Day

US and POW-MIA flags flying on Memorial Day

A photo taken by a friend on Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day in the US. I can tell people have started awakening because I see a barrage of “Happy Memorial Day!” greetings on Facebook. Recently, this greeting has struck me as somewhat strange. It is like saying, “I am happy your relatives are dead.” It seems more appropriate to say, “Have a safe, peaceful Memorial Day.” After all, doesn’t the peace we enjoy in the US correspond to the sacrifices made by those who served in uniform and died for our country?

Memorial Day began just after the American Civil War (not to be confused with the British one) as a day to remember our nation’s Civil War dead. By the early 20th century, it had evolved to include war dead from other American wars as well. But, by the early 21st century, it has devolved into a three-day weekend known for great sales. On Memorial Day, we honor the more than one million men and women who have died fighting to protect our freedom. They are worth more than 50% off a new dining room set.

Every year, at this time, I remember those who have fallen, but I am also reminded of the sacrifices that were made by those who fought bravely and were seriously wounded, whose scars are not always visible, and whose service altered their lives (and their families’ lives) forever. By most estimates, combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have left more than 32,000 service personnel seriously wounded. Many organizations help provide emotional and financial support to wounded veterans and their families. Impact a Hero is one of the best. Last year alone, the organization provided more than USD 700,000 of support to 770 wounded heroes and their families.

Next weekend is Impact a Hero weekend. The weekend begins with a 5K and ends with a gala honoring military men and women who have sacrificed so much. As a former 5K participant, I can tell you that there is no more moving experience than seeing the veterans escorted to the race by the Patriot Guard motorcycle riders. And, nothing is more inspiring than watching a wounded 5K wheel participant smoke my lazy, two-legged butt around the course. It is worth the trip to Sugar Land. But, the most amazing part of the weekend is the gala. This year, the gala will honor 50 wounded veterans. To hear their stories and see their faces gives me a tremendous amount of pride in our country and the organizations that support these heroes. Unfortunately, this year, I have a bit of a logistical challenge with participation. But, as with other causes that I support, it does not mean that I cannot help fundraise. The 5K fundraising goal is USD 400,000. With only one week to go, the participants have met only 75% of the goal. Please consider helping this organization raise much-needed funds to support our heroes.

To donate, you can follow this link:

http://www.active.com/donate/impactahero

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s