Every spring, families across the country come together to celebrate Memorial Day. A family will host a picnic and fire up the barbecue, a mother and daughter will go shopping and take advantage of the holiday sales, and a father and son will attend a parade to enjoy the festivities.
Somewhere out there though, a family will be visiting a cemetery, a mother will shed a tear in memory of her daughter, and a son will stand alone at a parade without his father.
Memorial Day is a holiday of remembrance of those men and women who died while serving in the armed forces.Polls have shown that a majority of Americans are often unfamiliar with the real meaning of Memorial Day. This comes despite being entangled in conflicts throughout the world for well over a decade. Though opinions vary about our involvement with these conflicts, the vast majority of Americans have shown their esteem for our service members.
Nevertheless, veterans still endure with many issues such as high unemployment, increased suicide rates, and substance abuse. The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to struggle to assist our most vulnerable veterans even with bipartisan support and ample funding. Veteran support often feels less like a public service and more like lip service.
This Memorial Day, let’s honor those who have died while serving their country. This Memorial Day, let’s assist those who endure in silence. This Memorial Day, let’s do more than just remember.
Oscar Camargo is a veteran and former candidate for State Representative.Follow him on Twitter at @followcamargo or email at firstname.lastname@example.org