To the Soldiers, Airmen, and Families of the National Guard
On this Memorial Day, let us remember the men and women who gave their lives for our Nation. Even though these heroes no longer walk among us, if you look closely, there are still signs of them everywhere.
We see the empty chair and the folded flag on the mantel. We run our fingers over their names engraved on the bracelets we wear. We see the tears of their loved ones and hear the prayers of their children. We sit beside their headstones and share treasured moments from our lives. We touch their favorite shirt, still hanging in the closet, the one we can’t get rid of, because it reminds us of them.
On this solemn and sacred day of remembrance, we stand beside our Gold Star families, joining them in mourning. We think of our fallen colleagues, wishing we could share one more story, one more adventure, one more day. We silently thank the generations before us who laid down their lives for our freedom, whose sacrifices shaped the history of the world. We remember. We grieve. And we make a promise to never forget.
Everyone who wears the uniform of our Nation knows we may die in the line of duty, leaving our loved ones behind. Yet we carry on this noblest responsibility for a cause and a concept greater than ourselves—the United States, its ideals, and its future. We believe there is no greater honor.
On Memorial Day, let us remember the fallen and comfort the grieving. May we always remember their courage and service, and lead lives worthy of their sacrifice.
Daniel R. Hokanson
General, U.S. Army
Chief, National Guard Bureau
Tony L. Whitehead
Senior Enlisted Advisor
National Guard Bureau