While Memorial Day honors those who have made the ultimate #sacrifice in #service to the nation, it never hurts to support living #veterans, too. Many know the sacrifice personally, and lived to tell the tale. Some need assitance such as health care, financial support or simple companionship. That’s where ClothingDonations.org comes in: By collecting and reselling #donations of lightly used clothing, small appliances, furniture and other household goods, we help fund valuable #veterans programs throughout the country, helping all who served access housing, health care and benefits claims, as well as offering fellowship. #MemorialDay
Finding a parade or commemorative event is as simple as Googling “Memorial Day near me.” But if you’re more the type to host a #cookout, go on a hike or spend the long weekend in a hotel, you can still observe the #sacrifice those who gave their lives in service made. Fly the flag, donate flowers or shop a #veteran-owned business, Good Housekeeping suggests. Learn a #patriotic song, visit a cemetery or post a tribute to social media. Whatever you choose, any heartfelt observance is a great way to keep the memory of the nation’s fallen service members alive. #MemorialDay
Observances throughout the country will be staged over the long weekend to recognize the #sacrifice of those who perished defending the United States. One popular annual event is the National Memorial Day Concert, which is set to be broadcast on Sunday, May 28, 2023, at 8 p.m. ET live from the U.S. Capitol. A remembrance ceremony will take place on Monday, May 29, with a speech from President Biden. More than 130 Veterans Administration events are planned, as well as countless local parades and #memorial observances. “On Memorial Day, we #honor the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” says VA Secretary Denis McDonough. #MemorialDay
Memorial Day began after the Civil War, the nation’s bloodiest conflict. Formal and informal ceremonies honoring soldiers who had fallen in battle began in 1866, according to Veteran.com. By 1868, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a Union veteran organization, had established Decoration Day in late May as a time for the nation to decorate graves with flowers. The armed services and individual states codifed the holiday and adopted policies for observing it. After World War I, the day was expanded to honor all who died in U.S. wars, but it wasn’t until 1971 that Memorial Day was declared a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday in May. #MemorialDay
March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day — an opportunity to remember the 9 million American men and women who served in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during U.S. involvement in Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 7, 1975 — some 6 million of whom are living today.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and hundreds of partners will continue the special 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War that launched in 2012 this year. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VA recommends remembering veterans with socially distanced community activities from March 25 – March 29.
“This is an opportunity for all Americans to recognize and thank our Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice during one of America’s longest wars,” the VA Blog says. “Outside of these dates, we should remember that we can always thank and welcome home Vietnam veterans any time of the year.”
While in-person events are challenging to stage safely, the VA invites well-wishers to reach out to Vietnam veterans who live in remote areas, are physically unable to attend commemorative events or are living in nursing homes with a thank-you card, call or Zoom conference.
Honor Flight organizations are working with VSOs to create Honor Parade routes in many communities. These outdoor events pass by veterans’ homes at a safe distance to protect them from the spread of the coronavirus. Vietnam Memorial walls will also appear in many locations — many of them supported by VVA chapters nationwide. Here’s a short list of commemorative events.
Hundreds of observances will take place, and the VA urges participants to celebrate and honor veterans safely. Many events get some funding from your generous donations of lightly used clothing and household goods to ClothingDonations.org.
So clean out a closet and #donate; call, text or write a veteran; or take part in a safe, socially distanced event to thank a Vietnam veteran for their service. They will appreciate the consideration on National Vietnam War Veterans Day — or any day of the year.