BYU-Idaho students gave ideas on how to honor the deeper meaning of Memorial Day.
Katie Turley, a senior studying early childhood/special education, said her family spends the entire day together, during which they take bouquets of flowers to the graves of fallen soldiers.
“I think to remember their sacrifice and to remember all that we have has not been given to us freely,” Turley said. “Teaching the next generation about them and making it real. Remembering that those men and women were someone’s son or daughter, mother or father. Also, respecting the men and women who serve today and live on.”
Sydney Hoskin, a sophmore majoring in theatre studies, said she has a friend whose father served in the military. She said Facebook has nonprofit organizations created to bring awareness to American soldiers who have served in the military.
“That is a goal of mine — to take it more seriously,” said Dominique Buxton, a freshman studying English.
Buxton said a good way to respect those who have fallen in battle is to learn more about what they have done.
“Going to seas for months at a time, trying to do what’s right whether they support the cause or not,” Hoskin said.
Susanne Harrison, a junior studying history, said volunteering at shelters provided for homeless veterans or donating to programs that assist families who have lost loved ones in war are options. She said her family visits the graves of her grandparents every year on Memorial Day.
“Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades,” according to history.com. “Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.”
Early observances of Memorial Day began after the Civil War when, due to the number of fatalities in the war, it became neccessary for the country to have its first national cemeteries, according to history.com. Americans would hold springtime tributes in which they decorated the graves of fallen soldiers and repeated prayers.
Since then, America has faced additional wars, according to history.com. As a result, Memorial Day has evolved to honor all American military personnel who have died in these conflicts.
“Throughout America’s history, hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have died bravely serving our country,” according to pbs.org. “The number of battle deaths speak to the sacrifices our soldiers and their families have made.”
Memorial Day is a day of both celebration and sadness because of the honor of the American soldiers it recognizes and because of the loss felt by families and communities, according to pbs.org.
“Today, we honor service members from all of America’s past wars,” according to pbs.org. “But there is immediacy in our sorrow; the wounds of war are new again. This, then, is the mission of Memorial Day: to reach out in support of all the soldiers and their families who have sacrificed so much for us.”