Memorial Day is a distinctly different holiday from Veterans Day–although sometimes people get them confused. While Veterans Day celebrates all those who answered our nation’s call to service, Memorial Day is a much more solemn day–specifically in remembrance of those who gave their lives in service to our nation.
I like the way our town celebrates Memorial Day. Many of the local homes decorate with flags and bunting (here’s a shot of my house from last year).
We have a town parade with all the various civic organizations, scouts, fire department and band marching. Yankee Bill is frequently asked to drive our oldest veteran (from WWII) either in his motorcycle sidecar or the antique convertible.
The parade processes through town, stopping to lay a wreath at the veterans memorial (erected after the civil war) for all the soldiers and airmen, then again on the bridge to throw a wreath in the river for all the sailors, then continue up the hill to the cemetery. Everyone who watched the procession through town joins in behind the last firetruck and follows the parade up to the cemetery as well. There in the cemetery there is a lovely ceremony with a few speeches, prayers, songs by the highschool chorus, and a 21 gun salute.
It is, to my mind, what a Memorial Day celebration should be–centered on those who served and died. I’m always quite proud of our town on that day.
And while I pointed out that Memorial Day is about those who have passed, and not about those who are living, it really is impossible to think about the former without also considering the latter. And so it seems quite appropriate to me that Walmart asked the Walmart Moms to also let folks know about their Veteran’s Commitment for Memorial Day.
Rather then paraphrase I’ll just give you straight up what Bill Simon, President & CEO of Walmart U.S., says about the Walmart Veterans Commitment.
As you may know, many U.S. military veterans struggle to find work after returning from the service. We recognize and appreciate the leadership, sense of discipline, and strength that our nation’s veterans bring to the workforce. That’s why Walmart has made a commitment to offering a job to any veteran who has been honorably discharged within the past 12 months (veterans must meet our standard hiring criteria). We anticipate that we will hire 100,000 veterans over the next 5 years. At Walmart, we firmly believe that if you fought for your country, you shouldn’t have to fight for a job.