Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and Sailors,

This Monday, we celebrate Memorial Day. For many of us, we may have grown up recognizing this day as the beginning of summer. For many, it is a day of picnics and parades, and fun times at the beach.

This Memorial Day, I urge you to pause and reflect on what the day is REALLY about. Memorial Day is set aside as a special day for us to remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice when called upon to serve their Nation.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

On this Memorial Day, take the time to remember our fallen heroes . . .

Encourage your child to shake hands with people when they greet them, to salute a serviceman for a job well done and to respect and salute the grave of a fallen hero.

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Our heroes are those … who … act above and beyond the call of duty and in so doing give definition to patriotism and elevate all of us … America is the land of the free because we are the home of the brave.

— David Mahoney

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