Western Pa. veterans: Remember reason behind Memorial Day
For many, Memorial Day means picnics, pools and a day off from work.
Yet veterans organizations hope people will reflect on the reason for the holiday on Monday.
“Memorial Day has become the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, which is great,” said Ron Conley, director of veterans services for Allegheny County. “But it's a day set aside for us to take some time to pause and reflect on the sacrifice made by those who gave their lives so we can have the freedom to enjoy time with our families and friends.”
There are personal ways people can pay tribute to men and women who died while serving in the armed forces, Conley said.
“You can volunteer to decorate veterans' graves or make a donation to an organization that helps veterans,” he said. “Even taking your children to a veterans memorial can help them better understand the sacrifices so many others have made for the freedoms we enjoy.”
Michele Margittai, director of development and community relations for the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, agrees that people can do more to better understand the sacrifices made by veterans.
“Even though as a community we have become much more sensitive to veterans and may even know someone who served, too many people still see Memorial Day as a holiday instead of a day of observance,” she said.
Margittai's organization on the South Side serves more than 2,000 local veterans who are unemployed, under employed or homeless.
“Many of the veterans who come into our office don't believe people care about them,” she said. “But we can help change that attitude by getting educated about what veterans face when they come home.”
Margittai agreed that “simple gestures” can often go a long way toward increasing awareness and understanding of veterans' issues, especially for children.
“It doesn't have to be something huge,” she said. “Last year I sat down with my 7- and 10-year-old children to watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on YouTube and I explained what was going on and what it meant.”
Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7987 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh considering legislation to ban drone activity from city parks, playgrounds
- Authorities identify man whose body was pulled from Monongahela River
- Sky’s not the limit: Pirate Parrot takes trip into Earth’s atmosphere
- 24-year-old man shot in the back in Mt. Oliver
- Former employee at Plum home-building firm charged with embezzling nearly $200K
- 3 arrested in connection with slaying of teenager in Knoxville
- Ingram woman accused of bilking 80-year-old mother
- Plum school board asks why tip line was removed from student handbook
- Fans connect with their beloved Pirates through homemade signs
- Shell, Center water authority reach agreement on relocating water source
- $9M sought to finish turning Penn Circle in Pittsburgh to two-way streets