***image1***For many Americans, Memorial Day is synonymous with family vacations, barbecue and a day off from work or school. We must not forget that the intent for this day is to pay tribute to those men and women in uniform who fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice so that all American’s are able to enjoy freedom and opportunity today.
Most of our nation’s losses were sustained in lands away from home. Here in Europe, we fought some of America’s fiercest battles and sustained some of the heaviest losses of all our wars.
From the invasion of Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge, Americans have fought, bled and died to protect those freedoms not only for us, but for our allies. All we have asked in return is enough land to bury our dead, and honor them forever—and the cemeteries of Europe bear testimony to the extent of that sacrifice.
Like our predecessors, we who have chosen the profession of arms have sworn to protect our nation and its values. I urge everyone to take a moment on this day to reflect on the sacrifices made by our nation’s military and families. This day we honor those veterans who gave their lives so that all Americans could enjoy what has come to be known as the American way of life.
We also remember those left behind: parents, siblings, spouses, and children. And, let us not forget the young men and women from our allied nations who fought and died at our side. Finally, I ask you to keep in mind today’s servicemembers who even today guarantee these freedoms for our future generations, and their families who also serve.
Unfortunately, America has not seen its last battle, nor has it lost its last son or daughter. But the men and women of our armed forces make up the world’s most powerful military and will ensure that our Freedom will always prevail.