Memorial Day is a day we set aside to remember and honor those who lost their lives due to wartime injuries. Below is my speech for today and will be delivered at our first full Memorial ceremony since the pandemic.
MEMORIAL DAY 2023
Memorial Day is a federal holiday, in the United States for remembering and honoring those who have died while serving in the U.S. military. It is observed on the last Monday of May,
Originally called Decoration Day it was first observed on May 30, 1868, to honor those who had died in the Civil War. Over time, the holiday expanded to include all Americans who have died in military service and became a federal holiday in 1971.
Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made for our country our soldiers and their families. It is also a time to rededicate ourselves to the ideals of freedom and democracy for which they fought and died.
For those Gold Star families that have lost a son, a daughter, a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, well, for those families every day is Memorial Day. There are those that made it home from war, but not whole. They came back with traumatic physical or brain injuries, mental issues, or invisible wounds caused by the effects of toxic substances such as Agent Orange or the chemicals from burn pits.
AND we remember those that are unaccounted for and listed as a POW and Missing in Action. For the Vietnam War, as of 28 April 2023, 1579 Americans are listed as missing and unaccounted for. 1241 in Vietnam, 285 in Laos, 48 in Cambodia, & 7 in the People's Republic of China territorial waters.
The effort continues to bring all our soldiers home. On 7 April 2023, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) released the names of Air Force Pilots Col. Ernest Desoto and Captain Frederick Hall as accounted for. They had been listed as missing in action in 1969. We also remember the missing from WW1, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the other wars.
Memorial Day is a time for Americans to come together to remember and honor those, and their families, who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It is a time to reflect on the cost of war and to appreciate the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans.
No matter how you choose to observe Memorial Day, it is important to remember the sacrifices that have been made for our country. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have served and those who have died as a result of our nation's defense.
We encourage you all to respectfully observe Memorial Day and we ask parents and families to educate your children, teaching them Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Let us never forget their service and sacrifice. God Bless America, God Bless Massachusetts and God Bless our community.