Memorial Day is the time when we as a nation pause to recall the “selfless service” of millions of Americans. We have been a nation at war since Sept. 11, 2001. So it is particularly important to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and also to recognize all those still serving. They and their families continue to sacrifice for our country and deserve our strong and continuing support.
As we reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day, we remember that generations of American service men and service women have brought peace and prosperity to such disparate places as Germany, Japan and Korea, liberated Kuwait and brought stability to the Balkans and to Iraq.
At the Association of the United States Army, we know that those who serve their country in uniform are a select group of dedicated men and women. Since the Revolution, they have been the guarantors of our freedom, often in harm’s way in faraway lands. Today, they are all volunteers which adds new luster to their service and sacrifice.
The words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes aptly sum up why the nation still celebrates Memorial Day. “So to the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching. More than that, you must be willing to commit yourself to a course, perhaps a long and hard one, without being able to foresee exactly where you will come out. All that is required of you is that you should go some whither as hard as ever you can. The rest belongs to fate.” Throughout its more than 60-year history, AUSA has made part of its mission to honor the fallen as well as to ensure consummate care for our wounded warriors. We also recognize the service of generations of soldiers, veterans, retirees and their families. AUSA remains fully committed to being the Voice for the Soldier and provide Support for the Army.