Memorial Day isn’t just another day off from work or school. The purpose is to honor the fallen from all wars in some small way.

You can put up a flag on your house, write a letter to a family who has a missing service member or to someone who lost a mother, father, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, or grandparent in a war, put flowers by a gravesite of a fallen service member, write a letter to your elected officials encouraging them to continue funding POW/MIA recovery efforts, or attend a ceremony or parade.

There are many ways to pay tribute and to create an awareness about the true meaning of the holiday. According to the Department of Defense, there are 83,358 POW/MIAs still unaccounted for, so that’s as many as 83,358 families with no closure.

Before you enjoy the day at the cabin or cook on the grill, pay tribute to the fallen. They are why you have the day off in the first place.

JOHN GIESE, Golden Valley