Memorial Day used to be the holiday that I endlessly confused with Labor Day. One marked the beginning of the summer, the other marked the end. All of that changed when my youngest son, Ben, became a US Marine…
At first, I tried desperately to change his mind. He decided to enlist right before 9/11 but had not signed the final paperwork. I hoped he would change his mind after 9/11. He did not. Eventually Ben served a nine month tour in the Sunni Triangle in Iraq. (Longest 9 months of my life.) I am happy to report Ben is a stateside reservist now, finishing his degree and talking about starting a family with his lovely wife, Maggie. <3
Memorial day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our nation. I propose that we Bring Remembrance Back. Gratitude for those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom is not a political statement or a pro war stance. I am a humanist and I bet you are too. The people dying and being forever disabled by these conflicts are husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. They are someone’s children. I hope to inspire generous acknowledgment and support for the families of the fallen and the wounded warriors who remain here and need us.
My husband Victor Juhasz is an artist and very active in supporting injured vets. He has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan with his pal David Feherty’s, Troops First Foundation, to honor and entertain the troops. Vic actually did portraits of the soldiers and marines he met to send home to their families. The emails of thanks that poured in were incredibly moving and all included a thank you for remembering my loved one sentiment.
Below are a few groups doing amazing work for wounded vets and the families left behind.
Still in the Fight
Art and Music Supporting Our Wounded Warriors
Troops First Foundation develops, operates and supports a synergistic group of wellness, quality of life and sports-based initiatives in support of today’s military personnel.
Marine Corp Scholarship Fund
Honoring Marines by Educating Their Children
I hope you will join me in holding space this Memorial Day for massive healing which starts with our recognition. I see it as Gratitude in Motion day. How will you show your gratitude on Monday?
Love Love Love,
Peace Lovin’ Proud Mom of a US Marine