Memorial Day means different things to different people. Small business sales. Big box store sales. Grilling burgers. Showing off at the pool. Visiting family. And that is ok, as long as there is at least the one unifying element that at some point in the day you remember what its main reason is… to honor the memory of those who gave their lives in defense of this country through all our wars, “police” actions, skirmishes, operations, battles, whatever you want to call them.
For example, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), this year launched its sixth annual #GoSilent digital activation campaign to ensure that all Americans remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. Participants from across the USA were asked to pledge online to observe a full minute of silence in honor of fallen American service members today at 3pm.
You can do it on your own today as well.
This year, as a part of an ongoing campaign to support women veterans, IAVA will draw extra attention to the nearly 200 women killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 and highlight the urgent need to recognize #SheWhoBorneTheBattle.
“Nearly 200 women have been killed since 9/11, yet only 27% of IAVA women members feel the public understands their contributions in the military,” said Allison Jaslow, Executive Director at IAVA. “This year, in addition to reminding Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, we’re also drawing special attention to women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Share a moment of silence with us in honor of all men and women who have fallen in the line of duty, and encourage your fellow Americans to do the same.”
(To learn more about IAVA’s campaign to recognize and improve services for women veterans, visit SheWhoBorneTheBattle.org.)
Jaslow adds, “If you’re at a BBQ, a ballgame or at the beach with your family, you can still take just one minute to join thousands as we #GoSilent. As our country remains deeply divided, this is one easy way for us all to unite as Americans. Everyone can take just one minute on Memorial Day with friends and family to remember the fallen and #GoSilent.”
Jaslow, a combat veterans herself, will also lay a wreath before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the fallen on behalf of IAVA members everywhere.
Following the ceremony, IAVA members who have come from all across America will walk together to Section 60 of the Cemetery, to pay respect to many of those lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That’s what just one group of people are doing on this Memorial Day. What are you doing?