Memorial Day, for those in the U.S., serves as the unofficial start of summer – a long weekend where many people fire up barbecues, visit the beach or lake, camp, or spend time with friends and family. 

But as NextRoll’s U.S.-based team prepares for a three-day weekend to celebrate Memorial Day, our RollVeterans group hopes everyone will take an opportunity to honor its true purpose by visiting a local military memorial, cemetery, or monument.

RollVeterans is an employee resource group (ERG) at NextRoll that creates support for veterans and veteran families, encourages community engagement, and shares military culture company-wide. 

To help kick off the celebration, here’s a bit of history on Memorial Day. Originally known as Decoration Day following the U.S. Civil War, it became a federal holiday in 1971. Since the 1800s, it’s been a day celebrated by those in big cities and small towns to pay tribute to fallen soldiers by decorating gravesites or visiting memorials. 

Today, you can likely find a military memorial or veteran cemetery in your community or nearby. So RollVeterans is challenging all Rollers, and you readers, to take some time on Monday – or over the weekend – to visit a memorial or military monuments and remember the veterans who lost their lives or are no longer with us, those who selflessly served their country. 

Share the story of your trip and new memories made at these memorials by posting pictures either on the roll_veterans Slack channel (internal Rollers) and/or on social media using the hashtag #RollVetsMemorialChallenge

It’s important to remember Memorial Day is about honoring veterans who have passed away, while Veterans Day (in November) is dedicated to appreciating and paying respects to veterans still alive. So while you may feel encouraged to say “Thank you for your service” to the special veterans in your life on the last Monday in May, our RollVeterans group encourages you to save your respects for the fallen that day. 

Many military memorials go unnoticed, but they’re truly important sites in our communities and in the U.S. We encourage you to show reverence and respect on a local level this Memorial Day, take a moment out of the long weekend to reflect on the importance of the U.S. national holiday. We hope you accept our #RollVetsMemorialChallenge, and we look forward to hearing your stories and seeing your photos from the experience. 

Learn more about RollVeterans and our other ERG groups on the NextRoll website.