For many Americans, the transition from May to June marks the unofficial start of summer. The long Memorial Day weekend affords people time to enjoy rest and recreation.
As it goes every year, you will undoubtedly read mindless facts about Memorial Day weekend. You’ll read about the likes of how many millions of travelers are hitting the road; the average price of unleaded per gallon; or how many hot dogs are consumed per second.
Given all this meaningless information coupled with the shuffle of vacations and days off, it is certainly possible that the true meaning or origin of a holiday such as Memorial Day could be lost or simply unacknowledged.
As part of the Squadron family, it is very unlikely that you’ve lost sight of Memorial Day. After all, many of you are veterans or have veterans among your family or friends. But, many of us know someone that has lost sight of the true meaning of the holiday. So, if you know someone that has fallen for the hype – please forward this on in respect of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy.
More Than an Excuse to Have a Barbecue
While often seen as just a day off work or great time to barbecue, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for over 1 million men and women who have died in defense of the United States since 1775.
This particular Memorial Day has two round numbers that offer significance that bear pointing out: 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War ending, and the 70th anniversary of WWII’s close. Those anniversaries mark solemn, welcome endings to conflicts that left behind a much starker set of numbers. More than 400,000 U.S. servicemen lost their lives in WW II, and 750,000 in the Civil War.
In fact, Memorial Day originally honored those who died in the Civil War. “Decoration Day” took place three years after the war’s end to decorate Union graves with flowers.
With an act of Congress in 1971, the day was proclaimed a national holiday for the last Monday in May and expanded to honor all who have died in American wars.
Squadron Salutes Their Own
As mentioned, many of our customers are veterans. But, Squadron is also proud to employ several veterans as well. In talking about Memorial Day with some of them amongst our ranks, it was clear that emotions varied.
Some of them were honored and humbled to have their service acknowledged. However, several of them were quick to shun the spotlight and point out that it was unnecessary to thank them for their service because Memorial Day is not about them at all.
Each vet is certainly entitled to their feelings. Either way, we’re grateful to them for their service to this great country. Here are few Squadron vets that we’re proud to salute:
Jimmy has worked as a warehouse employee for Squadron for ten years! He is one of those “old-school” workers that is always on time, diligent, and takes pride in his work. You won’t find Jimmy checking his smartphone for updates every 10 minutes while working. He is hard at work ensuring your orders get picked, packed, and shipped, in a professional manner.
Jimmy served in the United States Marine Corps form 1960 – 1967. He served in the following locations/units: Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow, CA; Third Engineer Battalion, Okinawa; First Artillery Battalion, Twentynine Palms, CA; Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade, Okinawa; Third Marine Infantry Regiment, Vietnam.
He received the following Service Awards: Navy Commendation Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal with two stars.
Mike has worked as one of our Wholesale Sales Reps since November, 2013. He served in the USAF from 1973-1977. He joined when Vietnam was still going on but was stationed in Germany while the rest of his squadron went to Vietnam.
He was stationed at Hahn Air Base in the top of the Hunsruck Mountains which was a first line of defense base since Russia was only a 15 minute flight away. Here’s what Mike had to say about that experience:
While there I was promoted to Weapons Inspector and EOD officer along with my boss. Being stationed at the top of a mountain gave me a whole new perspective on how guys lived and survived during WWII. The weather was brutal in the winter and beautiful in the summer. I often thought what it would be like to fight a battle over there from the ground. It would not have been fun to say the least. I still like to watch old war movies and give thanks to all those that fought and survived and for the families of the ones that did not survive. Remembering all veterans is our way of saying thanks for their service and keeping their deeds alive.”
Ryan has been a buyer at MMD-Squadron for a little over 3 years and served Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. He was an Air Force Captain from 1988-1992. Here are Ryan’s Reflections on the holiday:
Memorial Day – A time to reflect. When the words, Duty, Honor, Country ring a little crisper. When you hear the words of the National Anthem a little clearer. And the statue in the town square shines just a bit brighter.”
Jason has worked as a Wholesale Sales Rep for nearly two years. He was kind enough to share these sentiments:
Memorial Day to me is a day where we honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our way of life. I have known people who have made this ultimate sacrifice that we all volunteered to make when we signed the contract. I served in the Navy for 10 ½ years and two wars as an Aviation Ordnanceman (AO). I joined because of the honor it was to follow in the footsteps of great men and protected our country and our Constitution. It struck me more than once that people also make the sacrifice even during peace time. For instance, we had an S-3 Viking, on a work up preparing for a deployment to the Arabian Gulf that crashed due to a cold catapult and killed two people I knew.
It made me realize that we have honorable men and women that that put their lives on the line every single day. Memorial Day is the chance to cherish, celebrate their lives, and grieve for those people that were brothers and sisters to all us veterans.”
In Remembrance and Gratitude
Memorial Day is a time where the vast majority of Americans pay homage to those who have lost their lives in the name of securing freedom for others and we’re no different here at Squadron. Memorial Day isn’t about romanticizing war or worshiping military veterans. It’s a day to recognize personal sacrifices of veterans and active military alike.
We are humbled to honor the fallen and excited about investing in the future of Vets. These men and women have incredible qualities and skills, but they face huge battles when they transition back into the civilian world. It is important for our customers to know that when they shop at Squadron, they are shopping with a company that shares their same values.
Happy Joe Partnership
A few weeks ago, Squadron announced a newly formed partnership with Happy Joe. Happy Joe is a non-profit organization with a mission to recruit, mentor, and deploy military veterans in the web technology industry.
However, we didn’t want to stop there! That’s why we are also DONATING 25% OF THE PROCEEDS from this MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND to Happy Joe in hope to ease the burden of their mission.
To all the servicemen and women past and present – Squadron salutes you! We hope everyone has a great and safe Memorial Day!
Click HERE to get your cart going and play a part in the future of the veterans of these great United States of America!
What does Memorial Day mean to you? How do you honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice? Please post in the comments section below.