Rep. Garrett: National Moment of Remembrance
Congressman Honors Military and Veterans with Moment of Silence
May 25, 2004 - Each year, Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to honor the brave men and women who have so selflessly stood in harm's way to protect the fundamental freedoms of our great nation. All of our military personnel deserve our respect, our gratitude and our care. The great sacrifices that they have made must not be forgotten.
In 1868 Major General John A. Logan established a "Decoration Day" on May 30 as a day of remembrance for the dead of the Civil War. General Logan ordered his posts to decorate the local cemeteries "with the choicest flowers of springtime" to honor the thousands killed during those four terrible years.
General Logan's original Decoration Day proclamation called us to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, "We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance... Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic."
However, the remembrance and dedication General Logan meant to preserve through Decoration Day, seems to have gotten lost over the many years. A recent Gallup poll found that just 28% of Americans are able to explain why we celebrate Memorial Day.
We may sometimes take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in America, but they have all been earned through the sacrifice paid by so many of the members of our armed forces. Many soldiers have died for our liberty and prosperity. But they acted with patriotism and commitment to their country. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
I urge you to take this charge to heart and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country by stopping what you are doing at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. Consider what the world might look like if not for the service of generations of Americans. Take a moment to remember those who gave their lives, so that you may have freedom. But, don't just stop there.
Take time throughout the rest of the year to reach out to the members of our armed services who are fighting freedom's newest enemies. While we take this day to honor those who have given so much for our freedom in the past, our thoughts should be drawn on a daily basis to the brave men and women of our armed services who are fighting for the cause of freedom and democracy around the globe today. Tell them that the citizens of our state and nation are grateful for their service, and thank them and their families for the daily sacrifices that allow them to serve.
We must always remember our fallen soldiers, our veterans and our soldiers currently serving as we celebrate Memorial Day. They deserve the highest praise of all.