Today, Heritage is proud to honor the men and women who gave their lives defending our country. In the midst of barbecues, parades and the beginning of summer, we want to take a moment to remember what today is truly all about.
Memorial Day, the most solemn American holiday, traces its history back to the Civil War era, when private citizens designated a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. Today, the day is meant to honor all who gave their lives in military service in all of America’s wars.
While we celebrate the holiday and honor the past, we must also remember to honor those who are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice every day. The men and women in America’s armed forces are unmatched. Each of them has given of themselves and volunteered to fight the nation’s wars. Many of these soldiers will spend this Memorial Day in the mountains of Afghanistan or in the deserts of Iraq and Libya far from their families and friends. Their sacrifice and courage should remind us of our commitment to support them not just today.
The freedoms we enjoy are paid for by those we honor, both the fallen and those still fighting. Our nation is truly thankful.
Edwin J. Feulner
President, The Heritage Foundation
- Several people died Monday when a suicide bomber attacked an Italian military base in western Afghanistan, blowing up an explosives-packed car.
- President Obama is expected today to introduce Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as his choice to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He will need Senate confirmation.
- Yemen’s warplanes struck a southern Yemeni town seized by al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces opened fire on protesters in Taiz, killing at least 15 people and wounding hundreds.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Sunday that he remains opposed to raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling “unless we do something really significant about debt and deficit.”
- What does Memorial Day really mean? Find out in a special Memorial Day podcast with Heritage’s Matthew Spalding, who discusses the history and importance of this day. Click here to listen.