In Memoriam. Memorial Day May 30, 2011

By SAMUEL PASCAL REDFERN & MARLAYNA ROSE BRYANT – USOH

There is no payment or Thank You that can repay the ultimate sacrifice of sons and daughters who have given their lives in service to America. In fact, they have demonstrated the greatest kind of love taught by Jesus himself. These men and women have died for civilians, communities and our people to live in freedom and prosperity. All these men and women, often as young volunteers, represent less than 1 percent of the American population. They serve, they endure, and they bleed… so the 99 percent of us can be secure, free andprosperous.

To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, the U.S. Congress passed and the President signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act” in 2000.

When: May 30, Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time
Where: Wherever you are, home, office, outdoors.

American citizens should observe this moment by simply saluting the flag, placing your hand over your heart, bowing your head for prayer, or silently remembering someone who died in service of our nation. Tell the story of a friend or family member that made sacrifices for this nation. Put memories into action by asking our Veterans to share stories about national service.

10 Great Ways to Honor Memorial Day

Every year for a weekend in spring, communities come together across America to celebrate and honor Memorial Day and those it represents. This holiday offers itself up as a time to remember those who have lost their lives serving for our great nation and symbolizes the freedom of our country.

Unfortunately the meaning of this great day often gets lost among the BBQ parties, fireworks and time off from the daily work grind. We understand how the business of life can often hit warp speed as spring emerges, but we encourage you to check out 10 simple ways you and your loved ones can take a moment and honor the Military service members that have sacrificed more than many of us will ever know!

1. Attend a local Memorial Day service
Often times, community Military supporters and organizations will organize events around town that are open to the public and exist to provide community support, prayer and remembrance for those who have fallen during service and those who continue to serve.

2. Say ‘Thank You’ to a Military Member or Veteran
So many men and women that serve our Military or have served in the past can go days, weeks and sometimes years without hearing a simple ‘Thank You’ or other words of encouragement. Your statement of appreciation can mean the world to someone.

3. Support a Family Member of a Fallen Soldier
The grief of loss for a fallen soldier can have long lasting impacts on their families. If you know a friend or family member of a fallen service member, take a moment to contactthem offer your support. An open ear and an open heart can aid in the healing process.

4. Take Time to Reflect and Remember
We often get wrapped up in our daily routines and forget that many members of this great nation are risking their lives and putting their relationships on hold in order to serve and protect our country. Spend some quiet time in reflection to remember and honor their sacrifices and offer prayer and support as a commitment from you and your family.

5. Talk to Your Children about the meaning of Memorial Day
Instead of hitting the road for a simple weekend trip, make sure to explain to your children why Memorial Day exists and talk to them about the importance of honoring our Military members. Knowing the real reasons for Memorial Day from an early age will set the stage for fostering a strong respect and appreciation in their later years.

6. Wave Your Flag High
Here’s an easy one! Simply find a place at your office or home to display an American flag in remembrance of those we have lost during Military service. You can also encourage family and friends to do the same.

7. Donate Your Time
Many communities have local non-profit organizations that offer support and services to Veterans and serving Military members alike. Do a little research and offer an afternoon of your time to help in any way they may need. These programs are usually high in demand and low in resources so your time will often be very valuable and appreciated.

8. Write Letters of Appreciation
A ‘Thank You’ letter or note of support is always welcomed to soldiers deployed overseas and come as a surprise from supporters they do not personally know. Just make sure to bring your letters to a designated organization or Armed Forces office. Many hospitals and overseas units will not accept unknown letters or packages out of safety for their troops.

9. Make and Send Care Packages with Your Family
Packages for deployed troops or baked goods for a local Military unit are always great ways to brighten a Military member’s day. Simply check with a local Armed Forces office for a list of appropriate items that are needed overseas. This special time can also open up opportunities to teach your family about the meaning of Memorial Day. USOH offers many similar services so please contact us anytime for assistance or ideas!

10. Wear Your Support Proudly
Whether its displayed on your shirt, your car, your office or your home, show those around you that you support our troops. Veterans and Active Duty Military members will appreciate your public support!

The United States of Hope (USOH) exists to positively improve and bless the lives of families and individuals impacted by war, economic challenge, and natural disaster. For more information on the services provided by USOH or how you can get involved, please visit www.unitedstatesofhope.org.

Samuel Redfern is the President and Chairman of USOH and is currently serves as a US ArmyNCO. Marlayna Bryant acts as the Director of Social Affairs & Transition Assistance and oversees local and community events. For more information please contact Samuel at samuel@unitedstatesofhope.org or Marlayna at marlayna@unitedstatesofhope.org.