In a typical year, Americans would gather to pay their respects to the brave men and women who courageously made the ultimate sacrifice for our country this Sunday. Naturally, this is the most unusual year in living memory, so the thought of Memorial Day parades happening in town and cities across America is unthinkable.
The COVID-19 pandemic prevents us from gathering in large groups, lest we spread or contract the coronavirus. It is sad that we will not be able to honor our fallen heroes in a typical fashion, but the risks of parades are too significant to ignore.
On September 28, 1918, despite the warning of a deadly flu sweeping across the country and abroad, the City of Philadelphia decided to throw the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive parade to raise money for the war effort (WWI). Sources report that as many as 200,000 people lined the streets to show their support and watch the floats.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, three days after the parade, every bed in Philadelphia’s 31 hospitals was occupied. Around 2,600 people in Philadelphia died from the flu in the week ending October 5. The number of deaths nearly doubled in the following week.
We can learn a valuable lesson from the Liberty Loan Parade. Today, with 1,570,154 Americans infected and 93,436 men, women, and children lost to the coronavirus, it is imperative that we continue taking extreme precautions.
Veterans Struggle with Memories of Those Lost
At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we treat a number of veterans each year who struggle with addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A myriad of causes can lead to PTSD, but many people battle with the memories of seeing a fellow soldier and friend die.
We have been fighting wars in the Middle East for nearly twenty years now, following 9/11. Thousands of our troops struggle with PTSD, and many of them cope with their symptoms by using drugs and alcohol. Self-medicating may provide some relief at first, but it will do more harm than good ultimately.
Many veterans get on the road to addiction by self-medicating their post-traumatic stress. Fortunately, both addiction and PTSD are treatable and long-term recovery is possible with professional assistance. As with any co-occurring disorder, it is critical to treat both the addiction and dual diagnosis simultaneously.
If you lost a friend while serving overseas and have trouble coping with the loss in a healthy way, we strongly advise you to seek help immediately. Drugs, alcohol, and co-occurring mental illness is hugely detrimental to your health and must be treated.
Memorial Day could be an ideal opportunity to seek assistance and begin healing mentally and physically. Addiction and mental health treatment is an essential service, and help is always a phone call away.
A Memorial Day for Recovery
At HVRC, we offer a “Heroes Program” that specifically caters to the needs of veterans and first responders who have co-occurring PTSD. Our team of highly trained professionals can give you the tools to lead a productive life in recovery. Please contact us today to learn more.
This Memorial Day, our staff would like to honor all the men and women who have fought and died for our freedoms. We also hope that men and women in recovery have safe and sober remembrance.