I was taught as a young man that there were three holidays to explicitly honor the US Military and it's contributions to freedom. I have no sources and no proof that this is correct. But, it makes sense to me and I hope it will to you as well. BTW, if I am factually wrong, feel free to point it out.
The first is Armed Forces Day. It is celebrated to thank the contributions of everyone who has ever served in the Military whether in peace or war. It doesn't matter if they served three years or thirty. Just the fact that they served is enough.
Next on the list was Veterans Day. This was to celebrate the sacrifices and accomplishments of our military men and women who served in time of war. Not much more to say there.
Finally there is Memorial Day. Here we pause, reflect, and give thanks to those who died in service to the nation.
As you and I hit the holiday sales and enjoy a day off from work, please pause, only for a moment if you will, and let a little gratitude come out. Dwell for a minute or two on the men and women who gave everything they had in this world to ensure that you and I could do pretty much as we please. And if you get the chance to console someone who lost a friend, or a loved one in the service, try to help them as well.