A Day of Remembrance

“All gave some; some gave all”
-Howard William Osterkamp, Korean War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient.

Airmen from the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard prepare to move the flag-draped casket carrying former missing in action Maj. Robert F. Woods from the horse-drawn caisson during the funeral for Major Woods at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., April 9, 2008. Major Woods was laid to rest nearly 40 years after he disappeared in Vietnam on June 26, 1968. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol)

In the United States Memorial Day is observed each year on the last Monday in May.  Originally known as Decoration Day, a day set aside on May 30th to commemorate those who died fighting the Civil War, Memorial Day is a national holiday of remembrance honoring those who lost their lives fighting for our freedoms in conflicts around the globe. This day, unlike Veterans Day which honors those who have served, is for those who died in service to their country and “gave all.”  We, of course, owe both groups an immense debt of gratitude and respect.

The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial is located in Hamm, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

For many Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer and is a time to gather together with family and friends for celebration.  This freedom to celebrate, to gather, to be with those we care about, was paid for by the sacrifices of men and women who served this nation with all that they had to give.  Their contributions have impacted our society in ever expanding ripples, affecting those closest to them and spreading out into their communities and then to our entire nation.

Cimetière américain de Colleville-sur-Mer (Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial), Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France

However you may choose to spend this weekend we sincerely hope that you enjoy every freedom that this great nation affords you but don’t forget to take a moment to reflect upon those who “gave all.”

On Memorial Day in 1986 President Ronald Reagan gave this moving speech at Arlington National Cemetery.  His words capture the essence of Memorial Day in a way that few can.  Please, take a few minutes to watch this tribute to our fallen soldiers.

 

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