May 24, 2007 11:40 ET

Memorial Day Is a Time of Remembrance; Hospice Community Offers Advice

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 24, 2007 -- Memorial Day is Monday, May 28. For many Americans, this day heralds the start of the summer season. Yet Memorial Day has a much more significant meaning. It provides an opportunity to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation.

As we mark Memorial Day this year, images of a nation at war surround us. The ongoing conflict in Iraq reminds us that life is precious. This Memorial Day, the losses that have touched many American families may seem particularly poignant. Feelings of sadness, fear, anger, loss, and even ambivalence seem integral to our lives.

Memorial Day is a time to publicly show support for those who have lost their lives in defense of our country. Yet our commemoration is echoed by grief and loss. Losses of all kinds become real and tangible. Veterans of past wars may experience a reawakening of traumatic experiences. For the families and loved ones of those who have died, grief is fresh and new.

These events touch us all. Whether it is our own family, our friends and neighbors, or those living on the other side of the world, we are witnesses to loss and mourning and we feel a sense of communal pain.

Advice from hospice professionals, who deal with loss on a daily basis, includes sharing the range of thoughts, emotions and reactions we experience. Whether it is pride or shame, grief or hope, fear or fatigue, it is important to acknowledge our reactions. We can help each other by listening to each other and cultivating tolerance and openness to what others think and feel, especially during difficult times.

Support is an essential element during difficult times of our lives. Memorial Day can be a time to reach out to each other and share in our communal experience of grief and loss. Supporting those around us can be as simple as lending an ear or holding a hand.

Your community hospice can be an important source of information on grief and bereavement. Caring Connections, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, also offers information at or by calling the HelpLine at 1-800-658-8898.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jon Radulovic
    NHPCO vice president of communications
    Email Contact