Honoring those who have died in service to our nation is always difficult. Words will never approach the enormous heights of the sacrifices of the fallen.
It’s even more difficult when the commemoration includes families and friends of those to whom we pay tribute. The nation’s loss of your husband, wife, son, daughter, grandparent, aunt or uncle is a deeper loss to you and we are grateful for your sacrifice.
President Lincoln’s timeless words bear repeating. On November 19, 1863, at Gettysburg, he reminded us, “The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did…”
Such is the case today, and always.
Memorial Day is a time to solemnly remember, to ensure none of us ever forget our fallen who devoted themselves to the cause of liberty. We also honor those who went missing in action and remain unaccounted for.
Those citizen soldiers who loved freedom beyond measure have tilled democracy’s soil with their bodies… consecrated it with their blood… been our ramparts against the forces of fear and tyranny.
A sacred day for America
Memorial Day is a sacred day for America, dedicated to all those who have served this country and passed from us.
And it’s dedicated to all those who gave their lives securing our freedom and then defending our freedom in the centuries since… all for the sake of the simple truth that “all men are created equal,” all for those unalienable rights we cherish still today, that “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” the rights that brave young men and women will still volunteer to defend today.
So, we pause with great pride and deep gratitude for their courage, for their immense sacrifices on the altar of freedom.
Sacrifices in succeeding generations
Thanks to them, our American way of life sparks the hopes and dreams of others in every corner of the globe. What our country represents has drawn millions to our shores, people from around the world who immigrated here, became Americans, built and strengthened this nation, and made their own sacrifices in succeeding generations.
And whenever our nation has faced the imminent storm clouds of war, these patriots from all backgrounds, lineages, ethnicities and faiths have stepped forward to say, “I will serve. I will go. I will fight for what is right.”
We are here – free – only because of what they gave on our behalf.
To everyone here who is remembering a loved one, we wish you comfort, strength and peace of mind.
Let us pause to remember the many lives that ended far too soon, for the noble causes of freedom, justice and peace.