Memorial Day: Make it a Time of Remembrance and Support

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NHPCO Encourages Americans to Honor our Nation’s Veterans.

A Veteran is honored by a active duty member of the military.

A service member honors a Veteran; photo courtesy MidMichigan Home Care.

...Memorial Day can be a time to reach out to acknowledge all they’ve given and celebrate our national pride.

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, people across the country will host picnics, visit the beach, spend time with family, and enjoy the long weekend that represents the start of the summer season. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reminds Americans that there is a far more significant meaning to Memorial Day that should not be forgotten.

Memorial Day is a time to publicly show our respect for those who have lost their lives in defense of our country and to offer support to grieving family and loved ones.

However, it is not only those who have died that we remember. Memorial Day also provides an opportunity to honor our nation’s Veterans who have made important contributions through their military service to our country.

U.S. Veterans may be mourning brothers and sisters in arms who were lost during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, or more recently in the Middle East or Afghanistan. Past traumatic memories and losses are often rekindled. On a national day of observance, like Memorial Day, emotions may be heightened. This is a natural part of grieving and calls for our compassion and support.

“Our Veterans deserve support and recognition of their service and the losses they may have experienced and Memorial Day can be a time to reach out to acknowledge all they’ve given and celebrate our national pride,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO.

Supporting those around us can be as simple as spending time with someone that may be alone, arranging a trip to the cemetery or to a community event of remembrance. Simply lending an ear or holding a hand can be an important way to acknowledge a loss or to honor someone’s contribution to our nation.

Schumacher added, “In reaching out to those who are grieving – whether it is a recent loss or one from years past – we honor those who have sacrificed so much.”

Hospice organizations throughout the country are answering the call to serve our Veterans through NHPCO’s We Honor Veterans initiative. Created in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, We Honor Veterans is a pioneering program focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment of American’s Veterans nearing the end of life.

Currently, more than 2,300 hospice organizations are We Honor Veterans partners and more than 850 other community organizations are partners in this innovative campaign to honor these brave men and women at life’s end.

Hospice professionals have long known the importance of acknowledging past losses in life and helping people grieve.

NHPCO’s Caring Connections offers information on grief and loss at

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Anita Brikman
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National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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