A lot of people think of Memorial Day as an added vacation or a 3-day weekend. Maybe you have a BBQ with the family and think of Memorial Day as the beginning of Summer. While none of that is wrong, it’s also important to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day. It’s important to remember those who have contributed in the Arms Forces fighting for our country.
When it comes to Memorial Day, it is especially important to understand the origin of this holiday and how it should shape our thinking of this holiday.
The History of Memorial Day
In 1861, a Civil War veteran’s grave was decorated, marking the first grave to ever be ornamented. After Abraham Lincoln’s death in 1865, commemorations become more popular and remembered. On May 30th, 1968, General John Logan called for a day of remembrance for the fallen soldiers of the Civil War.
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day became an official holiday in 1971. But it was celebrated as a holiday in every northern state by 1890, while the southern states honored their fallen soldiers on different days of the year.
How We Should Think of Memorial Day
According to studies, 1 in 8 soldiers suffer from PTSD. Memorial Day isn’t only about the soldiers who have died during while serving our country, it’s about the soldiers who continue to serve our country.
Particular emphasis should be placed on the health of soldiers who suffer from PTSD. Since May is also mental health month in addition to Memorial Day, there needs to be a focus on the mental stress that soldiers suffer daily by being the military. The ultimate good and honor they provide for our country comes at a cost that should never be ignored.
How Soldiers Can Relieve Mental Stress with Activities
If you know a military member or have served in the military, you know the mental stress they endure being in the military. This is why it’s important to reflect on activities that help reduce mental stress:
These activities are helpful exercises on the mind. They challenge and keep the mind healthy. For instance, scrabble shows to improve the size of the brain. Games like Sudoku help protect the brain from decline. Sudoku is also relaxing on the mind as well as challenging.
How Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?
Memorial Day should be spent with family remembering the soldiers who have served our country and who continue to serve this country. It should also be spent reflecting on the health risks these soldiers encounter every day. If you are a soldier or not, you should spend this Memorial Day practicing mindful exercises like scrabble or sudoku. It should be spent taking better care of your health with nourishing foods and supplements.
This Memorial Day should be a day of not only reflection but of action. Take the action to care of your health and remember the soldiers who confront mental health stressors every day in order to keep you and others safe.
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