SPOKANE, Wash. -- Many people crowded into their cars traveling to all sorts of far flung areas for Memorial Day but a Spokane couple is trying to help being the focus back to the people who inspired the holiday.
"Memorial Day is that specific day that we just honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and a lot of our friends have met that sacrifice," said Tiffany Smiley.
Tiffany’s husband, Scotty, has a stunning story of service and sacrifice too. One day in 2005, he was confronted by a suicide bomber in Iraq. There was an explosion and his world turned black. He woke up about a week later at Army Reed Medical center blind the rest of his life. But Tiffany got her husband back, unlike some of their friends like Captain Bill Jacobsen and Benjamin Tiffner.
Captain Jacobsen was killed in Iraq along with many others when a suicide bomber unleashed an explosion in a crowded mess tent at lunchtime.
"My friend lost her husband and has now raised four kids by herself for the last 11 years," said Smiley.
This Memorial Day the Smiley's will also pause for their friend Benjamin Tiffner who was killed by a rocket propelled grenade.
Which is why Scotty and Tiffany created #MemorialDay15. It is a request that people spend fifteen minutes on Memorial Day simply giving pause or giving to a charity benefiting the families of those who gave their lives.
"We have to be more proactive in recognizing what our freedoms here are for and how we got to this place," said Tiffany.
As for camping and barbecues, they are sure to point out those kind of celebrations are important too.
“I think that is what America is. Packing up your family and going to enjoy a weekend off, a day off of work. That is America,” said Tiffany. "That's what Benjamin Tiffner died for that's what Capt. Jacobsen died for. So we can live better. So we can take our families where ever we want across America in freedom and peace."
The Smileys would love it if you would use #MemorialDay15 to share how you spent 15 minutes remembering those who gave their lives for our country's freedom.