NVC Newsletter

Commander's Column

by Walter Tanimoto
May 2019, Volume 69, Issue 5

We just celebrated Memorial Day and I would like to share my thoughts with you about Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is the time for Americans to reconnect with our history and core values by honoring those who have given their lives for the ideals we cherish.  It is a time to express our gratitude to the brave men and women who died in military service to our country.  Beginning with the Revolutionary War in 1775, generations of Americans have died defending our country, including a staggering 625,000 during the Civil War, 1861-65.

The sacrifices of these men and women deserve the respect and attention of all Americans. Unfortunately, the number of those we honor continues to grow. Since 2001, conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have accounted for nearly 14,000 casualties.

Memorial Day, which is on the last Monday in May, was originally declared in 1868 as Decoration Day and involved placing flowers and flags on the graves of those who died during the Civil War.  After World War I, Memorial Day was expanded to honor military casualties from all wars.

On May 2, 2000, President Clinton signed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, this Act is observed at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. The following paragraph is excerpted from that memorandum:

“As Memorial Day approaches, it is time to pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday. Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contributions, they have made to securing our Nation’s freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day.”

My hope is that this year’s Memorial Day was a time of good memories, and praise for the military men and women we have lost, and that Memorial Day celebrations remind us to continue to pray and support our service members who are still out there keeping us safe.  We are forever grateful for their service.