Memorial day strikes a different chord for everybody. For me–coming from a small town in Wisconsin–it brings back memories of buying red paper poppies to wear to the parade and every car antenna sported a flag to show our support. (We did that on Veterans day too) We had a very personal connection with the veterans in our town, and we all came out to honor and remember the
family and neighbors we’d known and lost.
It’s still like that back home, but it’s a little different in the hustle and bustle of the big city. We’re disconnected and the Memorial day events are less personal, at least when related to that tiny Wisconsin town.
Maybe social media can play a part in bringing that back a bit by restoring the personal connection. Tammy Duckworth, (@TammyDuckworth ) the new Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, gives some really good advice about connecting with veterans on-line and makes an excellent case for reaching out with social media to the veterans as a support network. If the Obama administration continues to build on their social media successes, the VA is looking for some big changes.
Let me leave you with this Memorial Day thought. Why not reach out right now to your network and remember the family of someone they’ve lost? Then think of how we can help Ms. Duckworth create support for living veterans and their families. Maybe if my nephew had gotten the support of a community like the one Tammy Duckworth speaks of, my sister wouldn’t be remembering him today and every day for the rest of her life as someone who just didn’t have the tools to deal with life after the war.