Here are seven great reads (and views) that get to the heart of what Memorial Day weekend is really about.
1. Do you know how Memorial Day came into being?
Mental Floss has you covered with its list of 10 facts about the holiday.
2. Sit down with a story from the Washington Post about of Lt. Col. Michael B. Baka.
Baka, a soldier who was so inspired by the actions of his comrades ( including a subordinate who jumped on a grenade), joined The Old Guard just to honor their valor and sacrifices.
3. Learn from London Bell, who lost her Marine brother at war.
She found help through a community of Americans dealing with the same thing.
4. How do we reconcile memories of the ones we’ve lost?
The USO’s Sarah Kemp, who worked for the organization in Afghanistan, Arlington and now in Germany, wrote this blog post in 2012. The message is just as relevant today.
5. See it from a gold star mother’s point of view.
Read the story of how a spur-of-the-moment visit to the USO for one mom brought her just a little bit closer to her fallen son.
6. How are Americans around the country thinking about Memorial Day?
Here’s a look at the 2015 military driven Sunday front pages from newspapers around the U.S.
7. Just because a soldier doesn’t die on the battlefield doesn’t mean his loss isn’t deeply felt.
Here’s a story of how the USO and TAPS helped quickly reunite one family of the fallen in the wake of their son’s suicide.
- A version of this story originally appeared on USO.org in 2015.