By Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
WASHINGTON – As our Nation marks the 150th anniversary of the first year of the Civil War, this weekend we observe Memorial Day, a tradition that originated following the toll that terrible conflict levied upon our Nation.
Originally known as Decoration Day for the flowers placed upon the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers, this holiday, more than any other, reminds us of those who gave up their future so that we could have ours.
Today, another generation of America’s sons and daughters is fighting for us. Sadly in this decade of war, we have lost some tremendous young men and women who are deeply missed by their loved ones and those with whom they served. In the truest sense, they have rendered a sacrifice that we, the living, can never fully repay.
One thing we can do, however, is reach out to those for whom they cared the most — their families. So as we commemorate our Nation’s fallen heroes this weekend, I ask every American to please join me in honoring their sacrifice by supporting the families of the fallen as well as our wounded warriors and their families who have also sacrificed so much.
We must never forget them — not just today, but every day.
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen