By Mark L. Rockefeller, CEO, StreetShares
How do you observe a holiday that is both solemn and celebratory?
Most of us know Memorial Day is more than a day off to barbecue.
Many of us know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day (hint: Memorial Day is next Monday and remembers those who have died in military service; Veterans’ Day is in November and celebrates all veterans).
Some of us struggle to mix both the fun and serious sides of Memorial Day.
Here’s three easy ways to appropriately celebrate as a business owner:
- Fly an American Flag. It’s simple and easy. The patriotic act of displaying the American flag at your home, office, or shop is an effective way to show support for the military community and subtly memorialize our fallen service members. Don’t forget flag etiquette: make sure the flag is illuminated after dark.
- Send out a sincere Memorial Day social media graphic or email from your business. Let your customers know that you support veterans and understand the meaning of the holiday. Keep it focused on Memorial Day, not your product. Distribute it to your email list and on social media. Above is our graphic at StreetShares for this year.
- Attend a local parade, service, or event. Communities around the country commemorate this day with great events. I live in Washington, DC. We have the National Memorial Day Parade, Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally, the “Flag-in” event at Arlington National Cemetery, and the National Memorial Day Concert. Your community has similar events.
- Bonus: Discover a fallen service member to whom you have a connection and tell his or her story to your team or family. It could be that great uncle who died in World War II, your parents’ neighbor who never came back from Vietnam, or the young women from church who was hit by an IED in Iraq. 405,000 American service members died in WWII, 54,000 in Korea, 58,000 in Vietnam, and 6,717 in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re all connected somehow—even if only remotely—to someone who has died in service to our country. Find out more about these people. Where did they serve? Why did they join the military? What’s their story? Pick one, and briefly share this story with your employees, customers, family or children.
This Memorial Day, let us both remember the fallen and celebrate of the ideals for which these great Americans gave—in the words of Abraham Lincoln—“the last full measure of devotion.”
Their courage deserves a celebration.
ABOUT MARK L. ROCKEFELLER
Mark is an entrepreneur, recovering attorney, and military veteran. He is the Co-Founder & CEO of StreetShares.com. StreetShares’ mission is to fund the next great generation of American business owners. Follow him @MarkRockefeller