Memorial Day was born out of the great loss our country suffered in the Civil War, the greatest in all our history, spurring a nationwide period of mourning and the establishment of our national cemeteries. Modeled on springtime tributes to fallen soldiers in the late 1860s, our modern Memorial Day (made an official holiday in 1971), carries on the tradition of decorated graves and collective prayer. Every year on the last Monday in May, our country pauses at 3 pm local time for a moment of remembrance.
This year, as we consider our reasons to hope, we remember the sacrifice our troops have made to protect our freedom, living out the great commandment that we love our neighbors as ourselves by coming to the aid of other countries whose freedoms are threatened.
We’ve had the good fortune at Root & Vine to talk with some shining star veterans and we encourage you to read their stories and support their work. As Iraq War veteran Jon Turner told us, “Military service is mission-driven and community-focused,” and the drive to serve does not stop when our military personnel come home. They are skilled and ready for the next mission, and if given the opportunity, this translates into powerful community-building work and life-giving purpose.
It is up to us to help our military returning home transition into civilian life again. They have been on the frontlines fighting for hope and now it’s our turn to offer gratitude and support, a listening ear, an open door, a job opportunity, a reason to hope.
For week 22 of Reasons to Hope, let’s take time to thank our military, and to comfort those who have lost loved ones in the service. Reach out to a veteran in your life, ask how they’re doing, and just listen. It could be the very conversation you both need to find even more reason to hope.
If you don’t personally know any veterans, there are many organizations working to support our returning troops. Start with National Veterans Foundation or check out this list from Charity Navigator to find organizations near you.
Writing the Book of Hope
We’ve been writing the Book of Hope together for 22 weeks now, but it’s never too late to join us! Here’s all you need to get started.
Join us every Monday on Instagram Live at 3 pm ET and share your reasons to hope with us. Tag @rootandvinenews #reasonstohope