General George S. Patton said –“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Since 1868 Americans have gathered in ceremonies to thank God that such men and women lived, to mourn their absence, and to honor the bravery, the skill and the dedication of our armed forces who have fought and lost their lives in such places as Valley Forge, at Bull Run, and Belleau-Wood, at Pearl Harbor, and on Omaha Beach, and in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan and numerous other un-locatable places with unpronounceable names.
Since the opening salvos of the American Revolution, nearly 1.2 million American Patriots have died in defense of Liberty. Additionally, 1.4 million have been wounded in combat, and tens of millions more have served honorably, surviving without physical wounds. Ultimately, Memorial Day is for the living. It serves as a solemn reminder of the profound sacrifice made by so many. Today the tradition continues, our nation honors those who gave their lives to the cause of freedom.
The White House Commission on Remembrance, established by Congress in 2000, encourages all Americans to remember those who paid the ultimate price in service to our nation. Today at 3 p.m. take a moment and observe the National Moment of Remembrance by pausing for 60 seconds to remember the men and women who fought and died while serving our country.