Let’s do more this Memorial Day than bar-b-que and celebrate having a long weekend. Dating back to the Revolutionary War, nearly 1.2 million American military personnel have lost their lives in US wars. To put that in perspective, that’s about twice the population of Denver.
Memorial Day started out after the American Civil War in 1868 as Decoration Day each May 30th as a day set aside to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. In 1971, it became known as Memorial Day and recognized on the last Monday in May as a Federal holiday.
So how can we honor the fallen? Here are five simple ways:
1. Stop for a Moment: In 2000, then-President Bill Clinton signed the National Moment of Remembrance Resolution, asking people to pause at 3pm on Memorial Day and consider the true meaning of the holiday.
2. Wear/Display a Red Poppy: The poem “In Flanders Field” written by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae during World War I inspired the link to red poppies which have become a symbol of support and solidarity. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has been manufacturing and selling red poppies under the Buddy Poppy program for over 75 years, proceeds from which go to help veterans and their families.
3. Display the United States Flag: What’s the correct way to display the flag on Memorial Day? According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon, then raised quickly to the top of the staff until sunset.
4. Volunteer Your Time: Many veterans’ organizations are in need of volunteers – and not just on Memorial Day! Take this opportunity to volunteer your time and give back to the community. VolunteerMatch.org allows you to put in filters such as working with veterans, your geographic area, which opportunities are appropriate for kids or groups to participate in, etc.
5. Donate Financially: Many organizations need financial support throughout the year. Using a site like CharityNavigator.org allows you to see how individual charities are rated based on finances and accountability/transparency, and allows you to donate directly from the site. There are numerous programs to choose from.
We currently have more than a dozen veterans as part of the Haselden team and are actively working with Veterans Development Group to hire more. “My dad is an Air Force veteran and fought in the Korean War, so I grew up with a great appreciation for the sacrifices they make,” stated Haselden CEO & President Byron Haselden. “We’ve recently started working with Veteran’s Development Group to bring more veterans into our company, and we also support the military community through events like our annual clay shoot which benefits Homes For Our Troops.”
As we all enjoy the long weekend, we hope you’ll join us in remembering those Memorial Day is meant to honor.
Kevin McCullough, Navy Veteran, Haselden Superintendent
“I have always been very patriotic and I served to give those who couldn’t the same freedoms as I have had, to make sure that we all have the right to be free, to chase our dreams and to make each life whatever people want it to be.”