Happy Memorial Day from William D. Cook
Memorial Day is a day to remember veterans who have fallen in battle. At the Law Offices of William D. Cook, we remain grateful for the service and sacrifices of every member of our U.S. Armed Forces, past and present. This time of year, we hope to effectively honor the men and women of our military forces who have made the greatest possible sacrifice on behalf of us all.
History of Memorial Day
On May 5, 1866, the town of Waterloo, New York, held a ceremony for the local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. This was the first known formal, community-wide event to remember those fallen in battle. A century later, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Waterloo the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. However, it wasn’t until 1971 that an act of Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May.
Celebrate Memorial Day Effectively This Year
There are many ways to honor our veterans who sacrificed their lives for our safety and security. You may be attending a local parade, having a barbecue and social gathering with friends and family, or doing a Memorial Day run. Perhaps you will place flowers on the grave of a loved one or ancestor, or maybe you’ll choose to wear red, white, and blue. Regardless of how you choose to express your gratitude and patriotism, here are some additional small ways you can observe Memorial Day this year.
A moment of silence.
It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of an extra day off and forget the real reason we have this long weekend. When your family and friends come together over food and drink, consider saying a few words about a great grandpa’s sacrifice or the cousin who didn’t come home and observing a moment of silence in their honor. You could also participate in the National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day at 3:00 p.m., local time. These small moments can put the rest of the day’s celebration in perspective.
Visit a memorial.
You don’t have to be in Arlington to find a suitable memorial at which to pay your respects. The Alaska Veteran’s Memorial is located within Denali State Park in Alaska. The memorial consists of five concrete panels, each 20 feet tall, arranged in a semi-circle. Each panel represents a different branch of the armed forces. The park itself, located between Fairbanks and Anchorage, is approximately the size of Rhode Island and affords many opportunities for outdoor adventures.
Make yourself available to help veterans.
Memorial Day is the time to remember those who have died in battle. The veterans who served beside these men and women are thinking about them. Acknowledge the pain they’ve suffered in protecting us and spend some time with a veteran. Listen as he or she remembers fallen comrades and consider taking them to visit a grave or memorial — or just sit and spend time with them. If you know a family grieving the loss of a loved one who was in the service, send a note or give them a call. Whether it’s one kind word or an afternoon of listening to stories, you can do something meaningful at little or no cost to you this Memorial Day.
Attend a service.
There are ceremonies and services held in many places on Memorial Day. Consider attending the Fort Richardson National Cemetery service, held on the grounds of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The service, which officially begins at noon on Memorial Day will pay tribute to our fallen heroes, complete with guest speakers, music, and lots of military tradition. It is best to arrive an hour early with a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance at the main gate of Fort Richardson. Military personnel can help you find your way.
The Law Office of William D. Cook
At the Law Office of William D. Cook, we are proud supporters of the U.S. military. Our office is in Eagle River, just down the road from the combined U.S. Army and Air Force facility, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. We are grateful for our veterans’ presence and influence in the community and around the world.
Most of all, we remember and express our thanks for the brave sacrifices of our military this Memorial Day.
Alaska Veteran’s Memorial. (n.d.) Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved from: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/matsu/akveteransmemorial.htm
Kirkland, E. (2015, May 4). Memorial Day in Anchorage. akonthego.com. Retrieved from: http://akonthego.com/blog/memorial-day-in-anchorage
Powers, R. (2016, September 8). What Is Memorial Day and why we celebrate: Day of Remembrance. The Balance. Retrieved from: https://www.thebalance.com/memorial-day-3356970