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BY Joel Junker

5 Ways to Keep the True Meaning in Memorial Day

This weekend, we honor those men and women who died while serving our country.  While many people use this weekend as a much needed break or to celebrate the start of summer, we all have a responsibility to take time today to be sincerely grateful for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

During my first visit to Washington, DC in 1995, the Korean War Memorial made a significant impression on me.   Etched into the stone it says, “Freedom is not free.”  So many veterans have paid for our freedom with their precious life.  Their spouses, children, siblings, parents, and friends also paid for our freedom by losing a lifetime with that person.  They paid for our freedom with their grief.Soldiers Grave - Selective Colorization

Here are 5 things you can do this Memorial Day to honor those who paid for our freedom with their lives:

1) Visit a cemetery and lay flowers at a veteran’s grave.

2) Say a prayer for those families who have lost loved ones, and pray for our veterans who continue to serve us.

3) Write a letter to family members or close friends who lost a loved one serving our country.  Let them know you are thinking of them and appreciative of their service member’s willingness to serve and the sacrifice made.

4) Write a veteran who is deployed right now encouraging him or her and giving thanks.

5) Attend a Memorial Day Service.  Most communities have one at a public place or at a cemetery.  It will only take about an hour of your time, and you will experience the sorrow and gratitude with others in your community.

Yes, enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend and the start of summer, but please keep the meaning of the holiday at the front of your mind and actions.

Joel Junker and the Cameron-Brooks Team