By Jason Golden

On the last Monday in May, flags are hoisted on our front porches, grills are fired up in our backyards, and beaches and pools fill to capacity. It's Memorial Day, which kicks off the unofficial start to the summer season. This national holiday has its roots traced all the way back to the Civil War; nearly a dozen locales claim to be the birthplace of what was originally known as Decoration Day. It is also our yearly reminder of our servicemembers who have died in conflict while protecting our freedoms. These freedoms manifest themselves in our cookouts, parades, and the anticipation for a summer of fun ahead.

There are a number of memorials near SourceAmerica’s headquarters to remind us of the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers, airmen, sailors, and others who have given their lives while serving in our military. Landmarks like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery are just a short drive away. These locations are just a few of the sacred sites that our nation holds dear alongside the bright light of a summer's promise.

SourceAmerica's mission of providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities remains steadfast on this Memorial Day, as professionals with disabilities are busy cleaning and sanitizing some of the kiosks and rest stations that surround some of these memorials in Washington, D.C. As our nation slowly returns to some semblance of normalcy, these locations will re-open to the public. People with disabilities have been a part of the solution in keeping essential businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we head into summer, this talented and important part of the nation’s workforce will continue to demonstrate their crucial role in helping America reignite our communities.

As we slowly emerge from stay-at-home orders and business closings, 2020 brings forth what will be a subdued version of our typical revelry on Memorial Day. Social distancing, mask-wearing and low-key commemorations may very well lead the way we celebrate and honor those who served. History may prove this Memorial Day Weekend to be the start of our recovery as we begin to reopen some parts of our society that have been shuttered for nearly three months. Gatherings, events, and how we socialize with each other will be under the microscope, but Memorial Day’s message will remain strong as we remember those who have given their lives for freedom.