Remembering Children of Fallen Patriots Day
Although we should remember our troops every day, May is the month set aside to celebrate their service and recognize their sacrifices. It is even called National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM). In May, several days are nationally designated to recognize different groups connected to the military, and May 13th is set aside to specifically recognize the children of fallen patriots.
May 13th was chosen for this purpose back in 2014 because it is the anniversary day of the founding of Arlington National Cemetery where hundreds of thousands of fallen soldiers are buried.
Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation
The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation was created in 2002 to help support all U.S. children who have lost a parent to military service, and it helped declare May 13th as the official day to remember children of fallen patriots. The foundation provides supplemental grants, college scholarships, scholarships for military, and educational counseling to these children. In fact, since its beginning, it has offered over $12 million in college funding to hundreds of college children in the U.S. The foundation firmly believes that investing in these kids’ futures is an investment in the future of the U.S. and that it is a sincere way to honor their parents who have died protecting the country.
Who Are Our Fallen Heroes?
In the last 35 years alone, around 20,000 children have lost a parent to active military duty. But who are these fallen heroes?
In the Iraq/Afghanistan Wars, more than 5,000 soldiers have lost their lives, and since May of last year, there have been about 25 military deaths from combat. These Iraq and Afghanistan casualties are not meant to bring us down but to remind us that U.S. soldiers have faced huge risks daily and will continue to do so.
Although the current wars have brought many casualties, the deaths of previous wars are still etched in many family members’ minds. Although these soldiers have died, the memory of their service lives on in each fallen soldiers memorial around the country, several of which are located in Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial (authorized in 1980) is made of black granite and is essentially made up of two long walls that extend into a V shape. On the walls are inscribed the names of over 58,000 veterans who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
The National World War II Memorial is located between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument in the National Mall. This large memorial spans the size of a football field and is made up of a wall of stars, pillars, arches, and two fountains in a pool. It commemorates the 400,000 troops who died during WWII as well as the 16 million Americans who served and those who supported them from home.
It’s easy to see the significance of Children of Fallen Patriots Day, but it’s a little harder to know how to celebrate those whom the day recognizes. This day has only been established for two years, but people have already found several ways to support it. Many survivors have used this day as a time to speak out about their loss. They remember the parent that died in the line of duty and recount the heart-wrenching experience they had trying to live on without them. Others might listen to these accounts or even donate a portion of service time or money to the soldiers and veterans of the country and their families. Still others might visit a nearby war memorial to pay their respects.