What does Memorial Day mean?

Staff Report

150519-Z-GN092-002

A statue of Daniel Boone keeps watch over the new Kentucky National Guard Memorial in Frankfort, Ky. The monument with the inscribed names of more than 230 Kentucky Guardsmen will be dedicated this Memorial Day. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — On a Memorial Day unlike those gone by, the Kentucky Guard stands proud before a fitting monument to those Citizen-Soldiers who gave the last full measure of devotion for their home and Nation. The dedication of the Kentucky National Guard Memorial has been a long time in the making. But as we present it to the world, Guardsmen are reminded, and will be everyday henceforth, ‘What Memorial Day mean to me?’ 

“Memorial Day is a day that is set aside to remember and honor those who served and gave their lives so that we may live and continue to live in this country freely. Not only is it a day to reflect on the sacrifices made by the Service members, but in my opinion it is also a day to hold those ones close who have lost a father, mother, child, brother, sister or a friend, while they were selflessly serving and defending our Country.”

Spc. Stacy Pesut, 103rd

“Memorial Day is a day to reflect for me. Having been born in a different country, under a different political system, I am acutely aware that America is the greatest country in the world; and Memorial Day is a day when I can reflect and show reverence to the men and women of our armed forces who gave their life in order to ensure it stays that way.”

1st. Lt. Marlon Jones, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery

“Memorial Day is a day I take time to remember my fallen brothers I knew, who served with my unit once upon a time.”

Staff Sgt. Dana Stringer, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade

“I don’t think you’d have to call it Memorial Day, nor do I think it matters what you call it. We need an occasion annually to gather together and remember our fallen brothers and sisters, because it is through that fellowship that we heal and through that fellowship that the fallen live on in our memories. We call it Memorial Day, but that’s not what’s important.”

Col. Michael Abell, Director, G1

“It is a day when we should all pause to honor the Service members that paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedoms, rights and liberties. It should also be a day that we recommit ourselves to maintaining vigilance over those freedoms so that their sacrifices are not wasted and that our children and future generations have the same rights and opportunities.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Rowan, 198th Military Police Battalion

“This day is a standstill moment in time for us to stop what we’re doing, remember the fallen and what the words honor and duty actually mean. We need to celebrate and appreciate what we have, because many lost everything to give us the freedom to choose who we are and the ability to live life to the fullest.”

Sgt. 1st Class Rebecca Wood, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade

“For most people Memorial Day represents the beginning of summer, a time for picnics, beach trips, boating and vacations.  Some feel this is shallow and inappropriate, but I’ve come to think otherwise:  It is because of the sacrifices of those who fell in defense of our nation and our unique American way of life that we can have the freedom to do all of these things. So celebrate, America, party on!  Go four-wheeling and hiking and skiing and have a wonderful time.  And as you gather around the barbeque at the end of your Memorial Day and watch the setting sun, be sure to raise a glass in honor of those who made this all possible, our honored fallen, for they are surely looking down upon us with pride … and more than a little envy.”

Staff Sgt. (ret.) David Altom, Public Affairs Office

 

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