By Stephanie Valera, CBS Local
A new poll commissioned by the National WWII Museum reveals the nation is in danger of forgetting the real meaning of Memorial Day. According to the poll, 80 percent of Americans confess to having “little,” or only “some” knowledge of the military holiday. Only 20 percent of respondents claim to be “very familiar” with the day and its purpose.
Indeed, for most people, Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of summer, picnics and outdoor fun, instead of a day to remember and honor the men and women who have died in military service.
“Our poll is very revealing,” said The National WWII Museum President and CEO Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller. “More than 416,800 American servicemen and women died in World War II. Today, with Americans fighting in Afghanistan, a time to honor those who give their lives for their country has never been more urgent.”
To help educate all Americans on Memorial Day’s importance, The National WWII Museum has launched a new website www.mymemorialday.org, which recommends simple ways to commemorate the holiday. Some of their suggestions include:
Write a veteran and thank them for their service to the nation
Place an American flag on the grave of a veteran
Visit a military museum or historic military site
Help organize a school or community-wide observance
Honor a veteran on Facebook, change your profile picture into an American flag
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to remind those in your community about the true meaning of Memorial Day