This Memorial Day weekend gives us time to look forward to the new season ahead filled with family activities. But it's also important to pause -- to remember those families who still grieve the loss of a son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister who gave their life so we could enjoy our freedom.
So many Delaware soldiers have died while during duties in Afghanistan or Iraq. Young men and women, like 23-year-old Army Sgt Andrew Creighton of Laurel, who was injured in combat and died on the Fourth of July 2010, while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom - and -- Air Force Senior Airman, Elizabeth Loncki of New Castle, also 23, killed by an explosion during Operation Iraqi Freedom - and - Air Force Staff Sgt Travis Griffin of Dover, who was killed when his vehicle encountered a roadside bomb near Baghdad, and whose mother said her son died doing what he loved. So many brave Delawareans put their lives on the line to fight -- and sometimes die -- for our freedom. The liberty we enjoy today was won with their blood, and we cannot honor them enough.
As Governor, I also serve as Commander in Chief of the Delaware National Guard -- a group of inspiring Delawareans who continually answer the call to service. So many of those brave Delawareans won't be home this Memorial Day weekend to relax with their families because they're stationed in military bases around the world having answered the call to service.
We are proud of that service. And proud for the way our soldiers prepare and train to be ready to serve. Every time I have the chance to welcome home our troops, I am humbled by the sacrifices they have made. On behalf of every Delawarean, to anyone who has served, I say "thank you." This Memorial Day weekend, let's make sure we take time to savor the outdoors and sunshine, and most importantly, to look beyond ourselves and thank those who have protected our freedom. With hope for the future as we stay focused together -- on keeping Delaware, and our great nation moving forward.