Mindful Memorial Day
Organized by: Steve M
EVENT DATE May 25, 2015
The purpose of Mindful Memorial Day is twofold. First, to observe Memorial Day with a weekend ceremony. Second, to raise awareness and acceptance of the value of mindfulness and yoga in the treatment of the psychological effects of combat. The funds raised here will support the purchase and promotion of yoga mats embedded with a Quick Reading Code that links to local yoga studios around the country.
Last May, volunteers led by the Mindful Memorial Day Foundation (MMDF) hung 6,805 yellow ribbons in the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery to honor every individual service member who had fallen in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We are undertaking this task again, only this year the number is 6,850.
I bring your attention to this number not to increase your sense of sadness or concern, but to portray how important this generation of warriors has become to the citizens whom they have pledged their lives to protect. Gone are the years when our warriors were chastised for their service. Gone are the years when they were forgotten. Today we mindfully honor the fallen with our fullest attention. Please consider being a sponsor of this sacred effort, as discussed more fully below and in the attached sponsorship options.
MMDF has made Mindful Memorial Day the main event of its yearly effort to transform the national relationship between the warrior and the civilian. This year, warriors and civilians will gather to share in the responsibility of honoring the fallen and take part in a social media campaign designed to create and sustain a conversation about the warrior-civilian relationship.
MMDF is acting on the growing scientific evidence that mindfulness, combined with certain yoga techniques, aids the transition from combat to peacetime. To promote mindful and yogic practices, MMDF has partnered with Armor Down to create the Smart Yoga Mat Project.
During this year’s Mindful Memorial Day, Armor Down will introduce a nationwide campaign to help yoga studios around the country use smart mats to reach out to warriors in their communities. Smart mats are uniquely suited to the warrior community because they offer easy, anonymous access to yogic and mindful practices in the comfort of the warriors’ own homes.
The smart mats have Quick Reader Codes built into their label that enable warriors to access the content created by their local yoga studio through their smart phones. Armor Down ran the first smart mat program last. The success of this test program was highlighted at the national veterans convention in San Antonio earlier this year.
MMDF has the language, the products, and the programs, to enable yoga studios around the country to be mindful and yogic hubs for their local warrior communities. What we need now is sponsorships.
At the top of the Mindful Memorial Logo is an incomplete circle. The circle is incomplete because working towards perfection is a journey, not a realizable destination. Your support of MMDF is support of a mission that never ends. There will never be a time when our nation is not obligated to honor the fallen.
Gold ($10,000): Name and logo of the sponsor will be displayed on the sponsorship banner at the entrance of the Women's Memorial and included in the 2015 Mindful Memorial Day program. In addition, the name and logo of the sponsor will be included on the website linked to the 2015 Mindful Memorial Day QR code.
Silver ($5,000): Name and logo of the sponsor will be displayed on the sponsorship banner at the entrance of the Women's Memorial and included in the 2015 Mindful Memorial Day program.
Bronze ($1,000): Name of the sponsor will be displayed on the sponsorship banner at the entrance of the Women's Memorial and included in the 2015 Mindful Memorial Day program.
Personal ($250): Individual donors at or above this level will be listed in the 2015 Mindful Memorial Day program.
The MMD program will be distributed by volunteers to all visitors over a three day period.
The sponsorship banner will be an 8 by 3 foot standalone banner stationed at the entrance to the Women's Memorial for three days. It will display the logo and mission of Mindful Memorial Day and the logos and names of sponsors.
The MMD QR Code is a digital tool used to connect visitors to content through their smartphones. Visitors will be walked through the steps of offering a mindful moment of gratitude for the fallen. Sponsor information will be tastefully displayed.
The Concept of Mindfulness
Armor Down training integrates mindfulness into gym workouts. Mindfulness in this context is a meditation practice centered on breathing and close awareness of one's environment. Its origins are in Eastern spiritual and religious traditions. These techniques are not normally associated with the Western military tradition; nevertheless, they can be effective at reducing anxiety and controlling emotion associated with post-traumatic stress. Armor Down uses uses mindfulness meditation outside of its historical religious context to cope with stress, reduce anxiety, overcome depression, improve sleep and provide a full spectrum of physical and mental health benefits.
Mindful Memorial Day on Facebook:
Armor Down is the organization behind Mindful Memorial Day. Its founder is Iraq War Veteran Ben King. Read more about his activities here: