The Meaning of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is special for most veterans, although some people may not realize that Memorial Day isn’t about thanking veterans that are still here.

It’s important to understand the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Veterans Day is meant to thank and honor everyone who has served, whether wartime or peacetime. Memorial Day memorializes men and women who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. These people made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. So Memorial Day is our time to honor the lives that were lost.  We honor those who are no longer with us, who gave their lives so the rest of us could live freely. For me, I think of my friends that I lost in combat. I live for them.

There are some veteran organizations, like the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or the VFW, that organize Memorial Day parades. They also meet at local cemeteries to place flags on the graves of servicemen and women and give a gun salute. My friend Josh McDermott can tell you more about this in his latest blog on the significance of Memorial Day.

Because Memorial Day is so important, I always try to get people together, but things were a little different this year because of the Coronavirus. Still, nothing stops us from remembering and honoring our comrades, in whatever way we can. We need to come together as a country, as tribute to their sacrifice. After all, we’re in this together. 

About Bryan Anderson: Bryan grew up and resides in Illinois. Injured by an IED in October 2005, Bryan is one of the few triple amputees to survive his injuries in Iraq. He is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and a spokesperson for USA Cares, which is focused on assisting post 9-11 veterans. Click here to learn more about Bryan.