Memorial Day--celebrating what's great about America

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Richard Erredge
  • 934th Communications Squadron commander
Memorial Day is time for all of us to gather with our loved ones to celebrate what is great about America. It is also a time for us to honor those known and unknown Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Patriots who have served in defense of our great country so that generations of people can realize the American Dream.
Additionally, we need to remember those military families that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending freedom around the globe in support of our national security.

In the past 10 years our nation has been fighting a prolonged worldwide battle against terrorism that has asked more from our active duty, national guard, and reserve forces than any other time in America's short history. The tremendous response of our citizen soldiers to the crisis of 9/11 and ensuing conflicts is humbling and patriotic.

Many of you reading this have volunteered for multiple deployments and put yourself in harm's way in sacrifice for an ideal that many around the world don't understand and do not have the opportunity to enjoy. You continue to make these sacrifices by wearing the uniform of our nation and you are owed a debt gratitude for your service.

Lastly, please take time to honor those fallen who have fought and died for our country. Since the Revolutionary War approximately 1.2 million men and women have been laid to rest for putting their country before themselves. During Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address he recognized this ultimate price by saying "...let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." This quote by our 16th President encourages us to honor those that have died in battle by continuing the mission and never forgetting their sacrifice. Thank you for your selfless dedication and military service, future generations of Americans thank you as well!