A salute, a nod, a sincere "Thank you." Veterans perhaps don't expect more than these in recognition of their service, but that doesn't mean a simple acknowledgement is all we can or should provide.
Monday is Memorial Day. We set aside this day to honor those killed in the line of duty and those veterans who died since the last Memorial Day. Traditionally, the remembrance service includes recitations of "In Flanders Field," and "The Gettysburg Address," reading aloud the names of the newly departed, salutes, patriotic music and the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner," speeches, flowers, firing of guns and cannons contrasted by that moment of silence. Taps.
The color guards then furl their flags. People pick up their lawn chairs, climb into their cars and go home.
But what could you do on Tuesday or any of the other 363 days before May 27, 2019, to support veterans and those in uniform? Here's a short list:
• Donate to the American Red Cross and designate the gift to "military support." One of the organization's primary functions is to assist servicemen and servicewomen, whether they are in the hospital or need to come home for a family emergency.
• Write letters to those in the military. If you don't know one personally, call the local veterans service office.
• Order groceries for a deployed servicemember's family by going to •" target="_blank">www.commissaries.com. •
•Visit a veteran in a nursing home. If you don't know one, drop off a book or a bouquet and label it "To Our Veterans" and sign it, whether with your name or the simple phrase "From A Grateful Community."
• Post a message of support at www.caringbridge.org/wounded/heroes.
• Contact the American Legion and offer to provide a foster home for a U.S. servicemember's pet.
• Share a sweet moment. Send a candy or snack donation to Operation Shoebox
8360 East Highway 25, Belleview, FL 34420
• Finally, offer to help place flags on veterans' graves so the community is ready to celebrate Memorial Day 2019.
This year and every year, we again pledge that they may be gone, but they will not be forgotten and in our remembering we continue to salute and thank those who follow in their footsteps.