This Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of Americans will visit our national cemeteries to pay their respects and to honor the fallen.

Moving observances, including “Avenues of Flags,” color guards, gravesite flags, concerts and choirs, and historic displays, will be conducted by Veterans Service Organizations, local community groups, and civic associations.

At Natchez National Cemetery in Mississippi and Grafton National Cemetery in West Virginia, citizens will participate in grand processions. The Natchez procession first took place in 1889 and is over 5 miles long, while the Grafton procession is even older, dating back to just after the Civil War.

At the Black Hills National Cemetery, our Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, Ron Walters, will speak on the first anniversary of our important Veterans Legacy Program—an innovative VA initiative to extend memorialization of Veterans interred in our cemeteries and increase student interest in history. Black Hills State University is one of the first grant recipients of this program that funds studies of Veterans buried in nearby national, state, and tribal cemeteries.

It has been said, “poor is the Nation that has no heroes, but beggared is the Nation that has and forgets them.” Visiting our national cemeteries is a way of remembering our heroes.

Those who lie in eternal peace in our national shrines did not sacrifice for fame or for rewards; they served and sacrificed for the greater good, for their comrades in arms, and for all of us—so that we and future generations can enjoy the fruits of liberty, justice, and the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Many of those buried in our cemeteries gave what Abraham Lincoln called, “the last full measure of devotion.” We owe them our profound gratitude, and we must pass that sense of obligation on to the next generation.

On this Memorial Day, may God bless the memory of those who gave all for America. God bless our Veterans and their families; and, may God continue to bless this great nation.

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Published on May. 26, 2017

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  1. Chaplain R. Hartley June 3, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    The proposed severance of IU benefits to severely disabled veterans is more than a unthinkable act
    of total disrespect , but s
    clearly demonstates what this Secretary of Veterans Affairs things of the Vietnam War era veterans.

    The Secetary is all in for the cuts, he has shown his
    true colors, He is NOT an Advocate for all American Veterans. Therefore he must be replaced by
    someone who cares for the dignity and wellbeing
    of us all. Therefore my fellow disabled veterans,
    the enemy is at the gate, contact your elected
    officials today, call the White house , don’t
    drag your feet, this is a grave matter. cTS7

  2. Kuka Toleafoa CW4 Retired June 3, 2017 at 1:16 am

    I am a retired veteran and now a dod civilian deployed with Soldiers in Afghanistan,
    the Soldiers pay are not being taxed but a retired Soldier like myself is being taxed.
    We as dod civilians doing the same mission.
    Why are we being taxed?
    Please help me understand.
    Thank you.

  3. Dean Colovos May 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    why does it take so long for a disability for the water problem at camp Lejeune take so long

  4. Suzan Kinney May 30, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    VA is a complete JOKE

  5. Brad D. May 29, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Mr. Shulkin,
    I am a 67 year old Vietnam Combat Veteran. I know you won’t read this, bit I will tell you a bit about me.
    I was on the streets addicted to drugs, and alcohol. I went to the V.A. in 2004 for help. Today, I am 11 years 4 months clean and sober. For years now, I have been helping veterans with their issues. I have no formal education, but use my 47 years of experience with PTSD to lend an ear for those who wish to tell their stories.
    I still suffer from major depression, and other side effects from combat that I in Vietnam.
    Now, your proposed program to HELP ALL VETERANS is in the works to take away 2/3 of my disability Unemployability because they now think I “WORK” not volunteer, and that a few class I took on my own several years ago, to learn to meditate has turned into a 4 year degree for teaching.
    After 13+ years as a disabled veteran, I have never been more disgusted with the V.A. until now. You want to take away the senior veterans Unemployability?? How dare you insult me, and tens of thousands of other senior vets!! This is the ultimate slap in the face, treason, and BETRAYAL that any government official could do to veterans of this country.
    I would like to make myself available to speak with you personally about why you have chosen to treat us in this manner.
    Brad D.

  6. Barbara Kilpatrick May 29, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Thank you, VA, for the privilege of my parents being buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetary, at

    San Bruno, CA.

    A true honor and to the respect of the United States of America.

    Robert Stanton Kilpatrick and Dororhy Joann Kilpatrick

    Memorial Day 2017

  7. Sheila Watson-Gay May 27, 2017 at 9:02 am

    At our home, we honor a grandfather(WWII), 2 fathers (Korean, operation Crossroads), 3 Uncles(Vietnam), and all the lost men and women in all conflicts around the world. Be thankful for you freedom.

  8. Abel Arriola May 26, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Honor the dead that gave the ultimate sacrifice. Go to a local cemetery and see the numerous flags and give a minute to show respect to our heroes

  9. michael r gray May 26, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I’ll certainly be visiting my Fathers grave this Memorial Day of Rememberance. William “Buddy” Gray Jr.; A U S Navy Veteran of WWII in the South Pacific.

    Many Thanks to him and to his younger brother Jessi Gray; Green Beret; KIA NW Vietnam who gave some and gave all.

    We can never pay them enough respect they deserve but we can keep them in our memories.

    Michael Gray – U S Navy/U S Air Force Vet.

  10. Lou Ann Mastromarino May 26, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    why is it so hard so 100% disabled veteran to get a prescription for glaucoma. we have been to a private dr. and the run around we are getting is a disgrace. he is under going radition for prostrate cancer and they want him to travel to pa. the out patient in New Jersey is just that. no one answers the phone, not do they give call backs. that’s how veterans are treated.
    Lou Ann Mastromarino

  11. Gregory L Abernathy May 26, 2017 at 11:22 am

    To Dr David Shulkin
    My name is Gregory L Abernathy of Charleston SC, I am a Gulf War Vet that has been diagnoised with Chronic Fatigue Synstrum and Fibromialga and as a Doctor you know that there is not yet a cure for these ailments but pain med’s to try an ease the suffering. The VA is now trying to take these two benefits(%) away. Please Help! I didnt know where else to turn.

    Gregory L Abernathy

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