Memorial Day Tributes: This Year, Say More Than ‘Thank You’.

Why ‘Thank You’ Is Just the Beginning on Memorial Day

Thank you for your service. It’s a phrase that has become almost synonymous with Memorial Day (and to some extent, Veteran’s Day) in America. From billboards to TV ads, graphic design to greeting cards, these 5 words are the catch-all catchphrase that stands for a debt of gratitude that American citizens cannot possibly repay.

And so, with so much to be grateful for in a free country, it might be time to ask ourselves: “Shouldn’t we try to say just a bit more?”

This Memorial Day, say more than "Thank you for your service". (Credit: Peter Salerno Inc.)
This Memorial Day, say more than “Thank you for your service”. (Credit: Peter Salerno Inc.)

This line of thinking actually started a year ago, when we met with Peter Salerno, owner of our parent company Peter Salerno Inc. and a veteran of the United States Navy. On our way out of the meeting leading up to Memorial Day, we turned at the door and stated, “Hey – thank you for your service.”

Peter smiled, of course, and nodded his head in a “you’re welcome”. Later that day, we realized that while we meant what we said, Peter was probably going to hear the same 5 words dozens more times over the next several days, and had for decades before that.

This isn’t to say that veterans aren’t happy to hear “thank you for your service”. At their core, most American military veterans are humble, modest, and shy away from personal praise. They’re not looking for individual recognition or to be ‘singled out’ for their heroism and valor.

Peter Salerno, during his service in the U.S. Navy. Happy Memorial Day!
Peter Salerno, during his service in the U.S. Navy. Happy Memorial Day!

But just because our military heroes don’t ASK for more than a ‘thank you’ doesn’t mean we shouldn’t GIVE it to them.

Think about your own life – what you do, where you’ve been, and what roles you’ve come to occupy in your life. If you’re a teacher, it must be lovely to get your first few “World’s Best Teacher” gifts. As an actor, your first “Break a leg!” is a cool thing to hear. But after countless repetitions of the same well wishes and compliments – whether we mean it or not – those common refrains start to ring a bit hollow and a bit dry.

It doesn’t take much to put a little more effort into your gratitude this Memorial Day! 

If you have a family member, friend, loved one, neighbor or colleague that has served in our nation’s military, take an extra few minutes to find out more about their service, their personal likes and interests. “Design” the military veterans in your life a special show of your thanks – even if it’s as simple as crafting a new way to say “Thank you for your service”.

Take a little time to help a veteran with a project, errand or work around their home. Volunteer to drive an elderly veteran to a Memorial Day Parade or out to lunch. Or do something that’s increasingly rare these days – pick up the phone, send a letter, or make a personal visit.

To the U.S. military veterans and those who gave their lives in service of our country – we know “thank you” isn’t enough to repay you. We also know that you don’t ask for our gratitude, recognition or payment – your sacrifice is selfless. Regardless of why or how you entered the military, the fact remains that you gave of yourselves for the greater good of our country, and you personally protected the freedom and security of families like mine that you will never know or meet.

So this year, we’re choosing not to “thank you for your service”. Because in many ways, we should be thanking you for everything.

Peter Salerno Inc. Salutes Veterans and Fallen Heroes: Memorial Day 2016

Peter Salerno Inc. Salutes Veterans and Fallen Heroes: Memorial Day 2016

We Celebrate and Pay Tribute This Memorial Day 2016

Peter Salerno and his team see Memorial Day as more than a time to celebrate, barbecue and enjoy the company of loved ones. It is a holiday to pause and remember the brave men and women of the United States Military, especially those who sacrificed their lives to protect the liberty, safety and future of the nation in which we are fortunate to live.

One of the most poignant and moving tribute videos we watched this Memorial Day 2016 weekend was uploaded to YouTube courtesy of Steve Strauss. A simple and impactful short film, Mr. Strauss’s video encapsulates all the things that make Memorial Day so important: sacrifice, liberty, patriotism, honor, duty and country.

Peter Salerno has been celebrated for his world-class custom kitchen and bath designs for decades. But nothing will ever replace the sense of personal pride and honor Peter feels as a veteran of the United States Navy, graduating from The Citadel as an Ensign and serving his commitment to the U.S. Navy in a tour of Europe and Western Asia.

Much of Peter Salerno’s worldly sense of design was formed during his Naval commitment, especially during his time of service in Italy. Upon his return, Peter grew to become one of the most influential custom kitchen and bath designers in the world – but he also returned with a heightened sense of pride, honor, and commitment to this country and its veterans.

Peter Salerno, during his service in the U.S. Navy. Happy Memorial Day!
Peter Salerno (right), during his service in the U.S. Navy. Happy Memorial Day!

This Memorial Day, think about the military heroes and veterans in your life. How have you honored their service and sacrifice? What can you do to ensure their legacies are remembered? It is our civic duty to these brave servicemen and women that we take a moment each Memorial Day (and each day in general) to give thanks for their bravery and valor.

From all of us at Peter Salerno Inc., we hope you enjoyed a blessed, safe and thankful Memorial Day 2016.

Take Peter Salerno’s 2014 Thanksgiving Turkey Donation Challenge!

Take Peter Salerno’s 2014 Thanksgiving Turkey Donation Challenge!

Help Feed the Needy, Share on Social Media – #TurkeyChallenge

SCROLL DOWN FOR INFO ON JOINING THE THANKSGIVING TURKEY DONATION CHALLENGE!

Take Peter Salerno's 2014 Thanksgiving Turkey Donation Challenge!
Take Peter Salerno’s 2014 Thanksgiving Turkey Donation Challenge!

The importance of Thanksgiving can’t be exaggerated. It’s a holiday that focuses on family, togetherness, love and warmth. For one Thursday in November, family, friends and loved ones gather around a table to celebrate and give thanks for what they have, and give thanks for one another.

Not everyone is so lucky. According to the USDA, nearly 20% of American households experienced food insecurity within the last 2 years. That number includes 8.2 million American children. The challenge of providing enough food to eat for everyone in America may seem impossible – but helping those in need eat for one day a year doesn’t have to be.

For Thanksgiving 2014, Peter Salerno and Peter Salerno Inc. invite you, your family and your place of business to participate in the Thanksgiving Turkey Donation Challenge. It’s inexpensive, it’s easy, and you can’t replace the feeling you get knowing you’re giving a family in need a Thanksgiving turkey.

8.2 million American children may have insufficient food this Thanksgiving. (Credit USDA)
8.2 million American children may have insufficient food this Thanksgiving. (Credit USDA)

You may think people are not going hungry in your town. They are. You may think one turkey couldn’t possibly change a family’s life this Thanksgiving. It does.

A turkey costs about $20. We challenge you to go out, buy a turkey, and bring it to your local food pantry or soup kitchen. Trust us – they will be glad to accept it.

How to JOIN the 2014 Thanksgiving Turkey Donation Challenge:

Then, SHARE your participation in the Thanksgiving Turkey Donation Challenge with us! Here’s how:

  1. Buy a Thanksgiving turkey for those in need. (Or buy a few!)
  2. Deliver the turkey(s) to your local food pantry or soup kitchen.
  3. Take a picture of you, your turkey and your delivery.
  4. Post that picture on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #TurkeyChallenge.
  5. Follow or mention Peter Salerno Inc. on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation!

Here’s the best part: Peter Salerno Inc. will MATCH donations, turkey-for-turkey, up to the first 100 turkeys donated between now and Thanksgiving! All you need to do is post a picture of your turkey donation to Peter Salerno Inc.’s Facebook page with the hashtag #TurkeyChallenge!

Join Peter Salerno and Peter Salerno Inc. in making the 2014 Thanksgiving Turkey Donation Challenge a reality. We encourage you to make it a part of your annual Thanksgiving ritual as well.

Somewhere, someone’s Thanksgiving will mean a lot more because of you.