Memorial Day: 3 Ways To Honor American Soldiers

The last Monday of May since 1868, has been designated as Memorial Day. Now, during that weekend, beer and picnic supply sales skyrocket. Travelers drive our nation's highways en masse. And don't forget the Indy 500.

And while it's important to have fun and celebrate Memorial Day weekend in your own way, it's also important to remember why that day exists. It was set aside to salute U.S. troops and pay tribute to the awesome sacrifices these brave men and women have made, and are still making, for our freedoms.

In case you've wondered how you could honor those sacrifices, here are 3 inexpensive ways:

1) Donate frequent flyer miles to help our wounded soldiers and their families. You can do this through an organization called Operation First Response. OFR looks after wounded troops from Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany to combat support hospitals in Iraq.

They also accept donations, like clothes,socks, underwear, toothbrushes, razors, etc...

You can help out this great organization by simply going to their site and seeing what you can do. http://www.operationfirstresponse.org/

2) Observe the National Moment of Remembrance. The Moment occurs on Memorial Day, 3 PM, local time, for only 1 minute. Participation is easy and completely voluntary.

The White House Commission on Remembrance urges Americans to observe in their own way. Ring a bell. Say a prayer. Salute the flag.

You could even call your favorite radio or TV station ahead of time and request that they play "Taps" at that time.

According to the Commission's website: 'In May 1996, the idea of the Moment was born when children touring Washington, D.C., were asked what Memorial Day meant. They responded, "That's the day the pools open!" '

Since then, the Commission has been dedicated to making Americans aware of observing the Moment.

To read more about it, go to: http://www.remember.gov/moment/about_event.cfm

3) Visit a military cemetary. You can pay tribute with the time honored tradition of placing a small American flag, or flowers, on the graves of our fallen soldiers.

In 1952, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetary and carry on the tradition to this day.

If you're an arts and crafts type of person, an inexpensive silk flower arrangement or 2, of red, white and blue can be created and laid on a brave service man or woman's grave.

In 1924, the VFW started their famous Buddy Poppy Program by selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. The tradition of selling red poppies to benefit our veterans goes back to the early 1900's and was inspired by Moina Michael, who sold red poppies to honor those who died in our nation's service.

To read more about the Buddy Program, go to: http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=cmty.levelc&cid=127

Here's a link for an interesting article called "Memorial Day Flowers" by Tenley McDonald: http://ezinearticles.com/?id=34526

Have fun, be safe and remember our American soldiers.

Ronnie Kimball grew up in a military family and is a co-publisher of REACH HIGHER, The Good NewsLetter. To get the Good NewsLetter and hear samples of Ronnie's CD, REACH HIGHER, go to: http://www.reachhigher.com

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