University Park, IL,
20:46 PM

Honoring Our Heroes on Memorial Day

GSU Memorial Day image

Dear GSU Community, 

Unofficially, Memorial Day has marked a transition into summer. It has been filled with family and friends coming together for cookouts, camaraderie, and long weekends away from work. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day was reserved for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers, wreaths, and flags. Memorial Day became an official holiday in 1971 with the passage of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and is recognized as a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to this country.

Currently, veterans comprise 6.4% of the U.S. population, with only 1% actively serving. However, it seems every member of the faculty and staff, and every student I interact with at GSU is a veteran, active guard, reservist, or has someone in their family who serves in the military. GSU’s dedication to our veterans is second to none. From our Veterans Day celebration, to the amazing team at the Veterans Resource Center who ensure our student vets receive the education needed to succeed, I am proud to be at an organization that celebrates our military.

While these are joyous days, filled with admiration, Memorial Day celebrations can become somber and emotional for many. It is a time to remember the fallen who gave an ultimate sacrifice for freedoms we enjoy. No matter how you choose to spend your Memorial Day Weekend, there are a host of ways to show your support for our heroes. 

Visit a Veterans Cemetery: take a walk through a veteran’s cemetery and pay respect as you choose. 

Brush up on your Memorial Day knowledge: Did you know about Gold Star Families? The Gold Star Family designation is reserved for families who have lost an immediate family member in the line of duty. The title is meant to honor the service member’s sacrifice while acknowledging their family’s loss, grief, and healing. 

Investigate your own family history: Just as I am surprised how many at GSU have a military affiliation, you might be surprised with your own connection to our armed forces. 

Virtually visit a war memorial in Washington D.C.: World War II Memorial LinkChanging of the Guard at Arlington

Thank you for all you do at GSU, enjoy your weekend, but please… never forget.

In remembrance of our nation’s heroes on this Memorial Day,

Joshua Allen, Vice President of Human Resources

United States Air Force, Retired