James Gilbert is director of the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council.
Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. Many Americans will enjoy a day off with family and friends, perhaps at a barbecue or baseball game. Those times and the memories that are created are precious and should be celebrated. Since 1868, this holiday has served as a moment when Americans remember the men and women of the military who lost their lives to preserve our freedom.
In that spirit, I ask that you take time this weekend to do something with your family to pass along the tradition of remembrance. All across the country, there will be ceremonies at many of the 131 Department of Veterans Affairs cemeteries. The National Cemetery Administration honors veterans with final resting places in national shrines and with lasting tributes that commemorate their service to our nation. To find out where and when a wreath-laying is happening in your area, go to the National Cemetery Administration’s website.