Today, the last Monday in May, is set aside to honor all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and Merchant Marine seamen, (who served under the Coast Guard, Naval Transportation Service, or Army Transportation Service in active, oceangoing service during the period from December 7, 1941, to August 15, 1945) who have given their lives for us.
It is a day to remember all those laid to rest at sacred sites across the globe.
It is a day to remember those who lie in unmarked graves on foreign shores;
It is a day to remember those entombed beneath the waves;
It is a day to remember those who were taken prisoner and never released;
It is a day to remember those who remain Missing in Action.
These brave men and women came from all across America, from small towns and big cities, from all walks of life, representing many different races, ethnic and religious groups, to answer their Nation’s call of duty. They swore an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and went where they were sent and did what they were asked. Each person lost has been important – cherished by family and friends; missed by comrades-in-arms who stood with that person. Behind every decorated grave today of a fallen American Service member is a story of grief that came to a spouse, a mother, a child, a family and a town.
Whatever your plans this Memorial Day, please take a moment to remember those who gave everything.
Medal of Honor recipient Col. Leo K. Thorsness (USAF Ret.),departed this life at age 85, earlier this year.
His Medal Citation notes Leo’s valorous actions over Vietnam on 19 April 1967. Eleven days later, he was shot down and captured, becoming a POW from 1967-1973. Listen to Col. Thorsness tell his story.
In honor of those American Patriots who have died in defense of our great nation, lower your flag to half-staff from sunrise to noon on Monday. In traditional observance, the flag is raised briskly at sunrise to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.