Your Flag: Honor me, you honor our fallen

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Pearletta Ullrich
  • 301st Fighter Wing
I am your Flag and I proudly represent the greatest country in the world - the United States of America. This month, on Memorial Day, you will see me adorning the graves of comrades who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and liberty. A lot of blood has been shed to keep this nation free. I have draped many of your comrades on their journey home. Remember - when you salute me, you salute each of them.

I remember May 5, 1968, when General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic declared in General Order Number 11 that: "The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance, no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit."

I was proud to stand tall as a symbol of the sacrifices for freedom on the first observed Memorial Day, May 30, 1868, and after World War I, when observances began to honor those who died in all of America's wars. Memorial Day is a day of "National Mourning" for those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom and liberty. Let us not forget to participate in the "National Moment of Remembrance" at 3 p.m. where I too will take time to pause and think upon the meaning of the day - remembering the fallen, their sacrifices, their gallantry and their bravery.

So, the next time you see me, stand straight, remove your cap and place your hand over your heart, or when in uniform, at attention, rendering a salute. I'll wave back - that is my salute to you!

On this Memorial Day remember, "Freedom is not free!"
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