Friday, May 24, 2019
Dear Marine families,

Over the years, the meaning of Memorial Day seems to have taken on the form of a celebration rather than an opportunity to honor those that gave their lives for this country. would like to remind everyone that while it's okay to enjoy the day and spend time with family and friends, you should also take some time to remember those who gave their lives in service of our country as well as their family members.

In this SPECIAL EDITION of our newsletter, you'll learn more about Memorial Day, the Battlefield Cross, and our Gold Star Legacy outreach program. We encourage you to attend a Memorial Day celebration in your state and have included an article on how to find a ceremony in your state. We are also sending out a call to action for you to help participate in bringing the Gold Star Luminary Initiative to each of our State Capitols this September.

We hope as you read through the newsletter and click the links to "learn more" that you'll share these pages of our websites in social media.

We hope you enjoy the weekend as a holiday and take time to honor the sacrifices of the heroes who died for our freedom and way of life. Join us in making sure our heroes will not be forgotten and in supporting their family members throughout the year.

God bless and Semper Fi!
Memorial Day and Veterans Day: What's the Difference?

While Memorial Day and Veterans Day acknowledge the service and sacrifices of our military members, it's essential to understand the difference between the two.

Veterans are often thanked for their service on Memorial Day and during the holiday weekend when we should be honoring our fallen heroes who died in service to our country. Some veterans will politely acknowledge your appreciation and continue with their day. Some will gently remind you that today is not about them. Some may show frustration for your not understanding the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Memorial Day Services
In honor of Memorial Day the National Cemetery Administration, with the help of local communities, will host ceremonies at VA national cemeteries across the country. Each community will have the opportunity to add a touch of patriotism and “thanks” during their event.

Gold Star Legacy
The mission of Gold Star Legacy is to provide support, information, and services to Gold Star family members; to promote events, memorials, and foundations in memory of their loved ones; and to encourage the public to honor and remember our fallen heroes.

Luminary Initiative 2019: Involve Your State Capitol
Gold Star Family Day (Sunday, September 29, 2019) is when we take time to honor the family members of our fallen heroes by lighting luminaries across the country at dusk. Thousands of luminaries have been lit throughout the country on this day in communities large and small, for more than a decade. The date is rapidly approaching.

This year, we need your help in your STATE. Our goal is for the public to hold luminary lighting ceremonies, not just in their neighborhoods, but at our state capitols.

History of the Battlefield Cross
The first appearance of the “battlefield cross” is not a known fact. Some believe it may have been during the Civil War where it may have been used to signify the location of a dead soldier to be collected and buried during which time they would call a temporary truce.