Last month, I called on the American Legion Family to pay tribute to our nation’s fallen heroes at dusk on May 25, Memorial Day, by lighting candles of honor and placing them on front porches or wherever visible for passersby to see. This display was to remind everyone that our resolve to honor those who served before us will continue even as social-distancing measures limit our ability to perform traditional remembrances. Our candles reminded Americans that no matter the circumstances, we will never forget those who are no longer among us.
My call for the first Candles of Honor was answered by so many of you as you lit up the night of remembrance in red, white and blue.
A red candle to remember those who shed their blood in combat and made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. A white candle to remind us all of the POWs and MIAs who are not yet home from wartime service. A blue candle to symbolize our eternal love of those who did come home but have since left us.
Brent Shafer of Post 288 in Williamsburg, Ohio, lit a red candle for his great uncle who died during World War I in France; white for friends in arms; and blue for the safe return from service of his grandfather and himself. Post 49 in Albuquerque, N.M., made a set of the three candles with a tag that shared the meaning of each color. The candles were given to American Legion members who picked up a free lunch at the post on Memorial Day. Mulberry Memorial Post 72 in Florida lit candles in honor (see photo) of those who have passed.
So many American Legion Family members shared through social media their candles of honor. We must never forget the meaning of why we lit up the night in red, white and blue ... and will continue to do so for years to come.