Memorial Day Message

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Today is Memorial Day, when we honor those who gave their last full measure of devotion, as Abraham Lincoln put it so eloquently. Like many people I remember family members. My Dad, an older brother and a brother-in-law, who have passed away, but not of war-related injuries. Maybe that is alright, but this day is for those who died defending our nation.

Hundreds of thousands of men and women have given their lives defending this country, in popular wars and in some very unpopular wars. Is any war “popular” or “unpopular?” The differences don’t mean very much to the families that have lost loved ones in wars. What the rest of us think about war doesn’t much matter to those Gold Star families.

Today we honor the memory of those who went off to war and never came home.  Men and women who, wearing the uniform of our nation, left their families behind knowing there was a chance they would never return. Men and women who left spouses and children behind, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.

Every person who puts on that uniform, be it for the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard knows our lives could be sent into harm’s way with the chance we could come back grievously wounded or even dead.

So let’s have our barbecue, picnics or whatever activity you enjoy today. Even if it is buying a new mattress or car please remember those who gave that last measure of devotion so we can enjoy the freedom to use this holiday for whatever reasons we choose. Those of us that served did so — and do so — because we believe in freedom, among other ideals and values.

Semper Fi to all those who are being remembered and honored today.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony
(Tim Forkes)

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