As we crank up the barbecue, check the weather forecast, and scramble to find the sunscreen, it's important to remember the true origin of Memorial Day. For our American Gold Star families (those who have lost a loved one in combat or a supportive military mission) Memorial Day is about honoring the memory of their soldier. So while your social media feed may be flooded with pics of picnics and fun, these Memorial Day 2018 memes will remind you that it's all about the soldiers.
There's nothing wrong with celebrating. In fact, several of the memes speak to the fact that without their sacrifice, we couldn't have keggers and beach parties. Memorial Day has evolved from a local springtime celebration in various towns after the Civil War, to a more national recognition called Decoration Day, into the holiday we celebrate today, according to the History Channel. Many towns recognize the day by closing businesses and holding parades and other ceremonies. The History Channel said that in 1968, Congress made Memorial Day the last Monday of the month under their Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which we have to thank for all the three day weekends we now get to enjoy. That act, which went into effect in 1971, also established Memorial Day as an official federal holiday.
So as you pull out your red, white, and blue and get ready to celebrate and relax on your day off (if you have one), here are a few memes to put you in the right place emotionally and to pay tribute to the men and women who have made it all possible.
A reminder that while we see them as generic, nameless (though appreciated) soldiers who gave their lives, they are very individualized and special people to their families.
2It's About The Families
And then there's this heartbreaking picture where you see a close-up of the pain of a mom and her little one's loss.
We Americans love a challenge and this one reminds us to remind others about the true meaning of the holiday. Because it's on Twitter, it's extra-easy to retweet and share it.
5A Better Future
We need to believe the wars that have been fought will reduce the wars that need to be fought. Wouldn't it be great if no more soldiers needed to die to defend our freedoms?
6Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day
Sometimes the three holidays can blend into an amorphous celebration of soldiers in our minds, but they are three distinct days: Armed Forces Day for those currently serving, Veterans Day for those who have served in the past, and Memorial Day for those who have died while serving.
7Take Care Of Our Vets
While Memorial Day is to honor those fallen in battle, it's a strong and sad reminder that many bring back the emotional scars of war and succumb to them down the road. Let's push for mental health support for our veterans so that number goes down.
8Gratitude & Pride
A simple wish for the day — that we remember the soldiers with gratitude and pride.
9A Veteran's Request
Seeing the day from the POV of a veteran.
12Always Memorial Day
While most of us take a moment to remember and don't really think about it the rest of the year, some families live with the sadness every single day.
13Honoring ALL Soldiers
"Every race, every religion has people that have fought and died for this country. So the next time you go to judge an entire group for the actions of one or a few, remember this," the meme page reads.