Memorial Day has been set aside as one day on the calendar to remember the women and men who’ve died in service to their country.

Sometimes it feels that one day, no matter the time devoted to remembrances, isn’t really commensurate to what fallen soldiers and their families have endured. Our one day of reflection, whether that’s a visit to the cemetery or attending a local ceremony, pales in comparison to how death can forever alter the individuals and families left behind.

The names of the fallen are forever on the hearts and minds of family and friends who know the first hand pain of grief. Their sacrifice is never far from those soldiers and seamen who served with them on the front lines. As time marches on, many of their contemporaries have since passed but hopefully the gravity of their service has been passed on to subsequent generations.

It’s no wonder then that the practice of inscribing names into memorials came into being. No matter the day on the calendar or the availability of records, we can pause at any one of the memorials in our communities and read the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Community banner projects serve as another meaningful way to recognize the fallen, veterans and current servicemembers too.

We hope that the stark pain from loss fades with time for those who’ve experienced the horror of war. We hope that the magnitude of loss and sacrifice sticks with the rest of us more than a day.