In general, the American military is out of sight, out of mind, save for their families and friends. This includes 8,400 U.S. troops still deployed in Afghanistan, as well as nearly 6,000 reported to be in Iraq and several hundred more in Syria.  For many Americans, Memorial Day is an occasion for store sales, swimming pool openings and, in a dwindling number of places, parades.

However, our mission here at the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. is to make sure that Jewish service members who fought and died for our country are not forgotten.  On Memorial Day, our members plant flags on graves of service members, participate in community events, and tell their stories of service to local organizations.

Flag placement

Every year, JWV chapters across America visit their local cemeteries to place American flags on the graves of our fallen heroes.  JWV members take their local Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop as well as their local synagogue or Jewish Day School with them to involve the community in Memorial Day.

JWV also visits specific graves per family members requests.  If you have a specific grave that you would like remembered, please contact the JWV Programs Department at 202-265-6280 or email jwv@jwv.org.

Memorial Day Parades

JWV members participate in their local Memorial Day parades.  With their JWV gear and their JWV flag, our veterans proudly represent the American Jewish community in their local Memorial Day Parade.

Storytelling

JWV members visit their local synagogue, JCC or Jewish day school on Memorial Day to talk with the Jewish community about their experiences.  This is a great educational opportunity for the community.  If you are interested in having a JWV member come to speak to your group, contact the JWV Programs Department at 202-265-6280 email jwv@jwv.org.

“These are the things which we must pledge our honored dead. By conforming to this pledge we will honor them more than by uttering statements of pride in their accomplishments. Let us honor them by living in such a way as to prove that we have learned why they died. We pledge ourselves to make their memory more effective by making their sacrifice the last of such sacrifices.

On Memorial Day, we honor the heroes who fought so bravely at Valley Forge, New Orleans, Bull Run, Bataan and Corregidor, at Wake Island and Pearl Harbor, but let us see to it that no more such heroes need be made.”

Medal of Honor Recipient Benjamin Kaufman, 1943