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On Memorial Day: Honor the dead and then serve the living



David Rauzi

Most will be off this Monday, Memorial Day, and for the commemoration we’ll be recommending you be a little selfish with your time.

Yes, please pause during the National Moment of Remembrance, on the meaning of this national holiday: to remember those men and women who died while serving in our country’s armed forces.

But then honor them further by making that day one for relationships: to mend those that are broken, maintain those that exist, and establish new ones.

Make this an excuse to hold a family reunion, gather up parents, siblings, extended family, and make all the potluck staples, plunk down some lawn chairs and just shoot the breeze. Don’t go anywhere elaborate; hit the park or a backyard. Keep it easy, and let the kids tear up the yard.

There’s time later to hit the river or four-wheel in the mountains. Make this day for face time, for telling stories, for setting aside pride and making amends, and overall establishing this tradition with the next generation.

For your extended family, consider this a time to devote to organizations. Help with organizing Memorial Day commemorations. Set aside time on public service projects often carried out on this holiday, such as cleanups or fund-raisers. Some organizations have also provided travelers’ services – free coffee, resource for places to eat and visit — at historic stops and rest areas.

Giving time at these events serves members of your community, and for those passing through it provides a positive reflection of your little corner of heaven they’re more apt to return to.

Honoring the dead and their sacrifices is at the core of Memorial Day. Let’s do that, and then let’s go further and honor the peace and freedom they made possible by engaging with and serving the living.


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