As this week comes to a close and we wrap up business in anticipation of the long weekend ahead, please take time to remember the solemnity of Memorial Day, as we honor the dead of our wars, recall their valor and their sacrifices and remember that they gave their lives so that others might live. We must remember those brave and selfless Service Members, specifically, the 1,197,168 of our fellow citizens, including 7,076 post 9/11 Veterans, who sacrificed all and gave their last full measure of devotion in order to secure freedom and peace. As John Maxwell Edmunds said of the fallen at the Battle of Kohima in 1944, “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today . . .” We are eternally grateful, and we know that freedom is not free and has a tremendous cost.
We must try to honor them, not for their sakes alone, but for our own. Words cannot repay the debt that we owe these brave men and women, but surely with our actions we can strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice. On Monday we will remember our fallen and we look forward to what we are called to do in their memory.
Let us remember and be inspired by the words of President Lincoln as he overlooked the Battlefield at Gettysburg:
“The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which they who fought here, have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us- that these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain . . .”
This is our call to action, my dear friends. By helping our Nation’s Veterans and their families, living by a higher standard, grounded in service to each other, we honor those inspired and haunting words so that the government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the face of the Earth. This is what the fallen ask of us today.
On behalf of the Paramount Veterans Network, I wish you, your families, friends and loved ones a very safe and restful Memorial Day Weekend.
Richard M. Jones
Chief Veteran Officer
EVP General Tax Counsel