Memorial Day: Remembering our veterans
May 25 is Memorial Day this year. Many of you will be barbecuing, enjoying the weekend and visiting loved ones who have been lost. Memorial Day is also a time to remember our veterans and service people who gave their lives for their country.
Memorial Day has deep roots in American history. In 1868, just three years after the Civil War ended, an organization of Union veterans established May 30 as Decoration Day—a time for the nation to decorate the graves of those who had fallen. That year, the first large observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery. This outpouring of grief and gratitude was the precursor to Memorial Day.
I am particularly struck by the leadership that veterans showed in 1868 and how our veterans continue to take leadership roles in our communities and workplaces today. The local Lemont VFW, for example, is currently fundraising for disabled veterans in Orland Park and Naperville, for homeless veterans and for a scholarship fund for veterans’ children. On a national scale, veterans have established several volunteer organizations that provide funeral escorts for deceased veterans and service people. Veterans have also established employee groups at several laboratories within the Office of Science complex.
As a U.S. Army veteran, I would very much like to see Argonne establish its own veterans’ organization. We have veterans from all branches of the military here at the lab and it would be wonderful for people to come together as a community and coordinate activities that would help veterans in our region and our troops overseas.
If you are interested in participating in an Argonne veterans’ group, please contact me at email@example.com or ext. 2-3022. Veterans, current military service people, first responders and those who support veterans and our service people are all invited to participate. Together, we can make a difference in our community, as a community.