Memorial Day & Mental Health Awareness

As a society we have come to associate Memorial Day with the long weekend that kicks off the summer season often filled with bar-b-ques, downtime with friends, retail sales and home improvement projects. We have strayed somewhat from why it came to be so in the first place.

the flag of the United States and lighted candles

What first began as “Decoration Day” on May 30th in 1868 to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War at Arlington National Cemetery, it wasn’t until 1971 that Memorial Day took its rightful place as a Federal Holiday held on the last Monday in May to honor all fallen soldiers of any American fought war.

One of the many reasons we can enjoy long weekends and endless summer barb-b-ques or endless home improvement projects is because of those who served in such wars and fought for our freedom to do so.

While too many lives have been cut too short there are many who survived, bearing the scars of fighting and who then must learn to heal and reacclimate to life outside the warzone.

May is not only the home month of Memorial Day but it is also Mental Health Awareness Month. While you take this day to pause and reflect on those we have lost, what it means to be free, those who have fought for our freedom and what you might feel called to fight for, I also invite you to think of those living among us, who may be struggling in silence with their own internal wars of their mind so to speak.

If you wish to learn more about Veterans and ways to help, I invite you to check out and share the following links:

https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Veterans-and-Active-Duty

https://www.militaryonesource.mil/health-wellness/mental-health/mental-health-resources

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/