Memorial Day – Paying homage to America’s fallen warriors

Gen. Robert H.

Each Memorial Day weekend, we honor and pay homage to the sacrifices made by our nation’s patriots; the brave young Americans who brought their courage and devotion to a difficult fight, liberating oppressed nations and providing freedoms and a better way of life.
Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines have served and fought on many fronts in many theaters, and thousands have paid the ultimate price. Then and now, military men and women answer a great calling and live by principles that would have them sacrifice their lives for the hope and promise of a peaceful, secure future for others. Still today, across the European landscape, you will find proof of the carnage of two World Wars, but also nations prospering and living largely at peace.
Not far from here, the Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France, is the final resting place for 10,489 of our American patriots who died fighting to liberate France during WWII. The seemingly endless rows of white headstones serve as a poignant reminder of the enormity of America’s loss to regain freedom on the European continent. Around the world, 22 other American Battle Monuments Commission () cemeteries solemnly honor America’s sons and daughters.
Today in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Global War on Terrorism, our men and women in uniform fight an enemy alongside our coalition allies; laying down their lives while protecting Americans at home and providing a better life for people they’ve never met or known.
As we pay tribute to America’s fallen warriors this Memorial Day, and in early June recognize the 60th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, I encourage you and your family members to reflect on those who’ve made tremendous sacrifice in the name of democracy, freedom and liberty.
Take the time in between barbecues and outings to reflect, remember and respect those brave souls who paved the way for the democratic life we so cherish today. And thank you for the service you are providing as you continue to bring your courage to the fight. Your dedication and commitment honors the hope and promise of our predecessors.