— Dawn Dillard is a proud East Texas gal who loves all things southern especially cooking, music and family. She can be reached via email at

School’s out for summer! No one is more excited than I am. I never thought when we came back to school in August of 2020 that we would ever make the entire school year. Granted, it had its moments; lots of virtual learning, quarantines, etc. but we made it.

Memorial Day is this coming Monday, May 31, and that usually, in our minds, triggers the beginning of summer. But, Memorial Day is much more than that and sometimes we don’t take the time to reflect and honor what it is truly about.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

I was raised to honor the flag and to honor and respect those who have served and are serving our country. Both of my grandfathers served our country.

My dad and my father-in-law served our country. We should always take every opportunity to remember those who willingly gave so that we can live in a land of freedom.

When I was looking online and thinking about how we can make this Memorial Day mean more than just the beginning of summer, the first cook-out, going to the lake, etc., I found this on www.inspirekindness.comand wanted to share it with you.

Ten ways to honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day

1. Pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. for the National Moment of Remembrance

2. Show patriotism by flying your American flag.

3. Visit a memorial cemetery or war memorial (or go visit a local cemetery and just walk around and see how many served our country)

4. Watch the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS.

5. Wear a red poppy or place them in your home. According to, this tradition originated form a World War I poem about a brigade surgeon who once saw the bright red flowers growing on a ravaged battlefield. A tradition developed to wear the flower to commemorate the sacrifice so many made while fighting for their country.

6. Tell a story or share a photo on social media about a friend or family member that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

7. Call, text or visit someone that has lost a solder. Celebrate the memory of this hero.

8. Donate to a charity that support military families.

9. Go to a Memorial Day parade or event (if you can find one)

10. Be thankful for our fallen soldiers and extend your thoughts and prayers for their families.

While we enjoy the everyday freedoms that we sometimes take for granted, may we never forget/may we always remember those who have gone before us and paid the ultimate price.

“God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her, through the night with the light from above. From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam. God bless America my home sweet home.”

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— Dawn Dillard is a proud East Texas gal who loves all things southern especially cooking, music and family. She can be reached via email at