5 Ways to Really Honor Our Soldiers This Memorial Day
Photo by Josh LeClair via Flickr
It's so hard to write about Memorial Day and other celebrations. Either you sound like everybody else or you seem like you're trying to exploit something for your own gain. Hopefully this blog doesn't do either.
For me this holiday brings five reflections.
1. Gratitude for the self-sacrifice involved in military service and to the full spectrum of self-sacrificing patriots - including women and homosexuals
2. Anger that there is not justice for soldiers who are sexually assaulted - something that happens to men and women alike
3. Appreciation for our military families, whose sacrifice is quieter but no less real. The wish that men could be given more permission to be "soft," fair and human rather than always "macho" without being stigmatized. Especially because when they come home, the post-traumatic disorder leads often to family turbulence and domestic violence.
4. Resist the temptation to stifle those who disagree with you - freedom of speech is hard-won and one of the first things to go in a dictatorship
5. Don't be all superior-like if you are anti-war. Thank the anonymous soldier who either got killed or has killed someone else so that you may live free: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." (George Orwell)
Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal has pioneered best practices in the federal government while spearheading dozens of digital/social media campaigns, integrated marketing initiatives, and communication efforts. Blumenthal began her career in branding at Young & Rubicam's Brand Futures Group/Intelligence Factory, and launched pioneering social media programs externally and internally at The Brand Consultancy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and USAID. She currently serves as the communications director of the Advanced Manufacturing Program at the National Institute of Science and Technology.
A frequently sought-after speaker and frequently published author who has taught marketing at George Washington University, the University of Maryland University College, and elsewhere, Blumenthal has received numerous industry recognitions, honors and awards. These include Klout Top 20% social media producer (2014); SlideShare Top 5% (2013); Meritorious Group Honor Award for website revitalization at USAID (2013); Featured Blog of the Month, USAID (2012); Top 1% most viewed LinkedIn profiles (2012); #2 Most Influential GovLoop.com member (2012); Commissioner's Award, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (2011); IABC-DC Silver Inkwell Award (2008); and more.
Blumenthal is deeply ingrained in the Washington, DC branding and social media best practices community, having revitalized the Institute for Brand Leadership (2001-2003) through a social media campaign; serving on the board of the Journal of Brand Management (2003); co-launching the Federal Social Media Subcouncil (2009); and re-launch the Federal Communicators Network through a successful social media campaign.
She holds a bachelor's degree from SUNY Empire State College, a Ph.D. in sociology from CUNY Graduate Center, and a Graduate Certificate in Organization Development from Fielding University.
Her website is located at www.dannielleblumenthal.com. Follow her on Twitter @thinkbrandfirst.