Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This weekend, we honor those members of our military who have given their lives in service to our nation. We honor their sacrifice, we cherish their families, and we remember why they paid that ultimate price: So that we may continue to live in freedom.
Memorial Day represents the truth of the American military’s willingness to give all, and to the American people’s understanding of that sacrifice. For over 150 years, our nation has observed this holiday. And every year, with heavy hearts, we contemplate the many who sacrificed so much so that their fellow Americans could know freedom.
We remember them in ceremonies and memorials across our great nation, from the fields of stark white headstones in military cemeteries at home and abroad, to the proud monuments standing in our nation’s and states’ capitals.
But however glorious these physical tributes to our fallen may be, the true appreciation for these sacrifices must always be found within the hearts of Americans.
And however moving the ceremonies we hold each year on this day, we must always show the true appreciation for these sacrifices on every other day of the year, as we go about our lives, as free Americans.
Because those brave Americans gave everything, we live today in gratitude and remembrance.
Finally, let us also remember that even now — across this wide world, in bases near and far, in the friendly lands of our allies, and in the hostile territory of our enemies — American service members are deployed to defend us.
They stand ready to follow their orders to any land, to complete the parameters of any mission, to pay any price … including the price of their own lives … to keep us safe.
As we honor all those who came before, who paid that ultimate price, let us too remember those who follow in their footsteps and stand full ready in service to us and the security of our freedom.