Monday, May 19, 2008

VIEW FROM THE TOP >> Remembering fallen heroes

By Chief Master Sgt. Brooke McLean
314th Airlift Wing command chief

Over the course of this week, we have paused to remember two Little Rock AFB fallen heroes who paid the last full measure for our freedom and national security since the start of the Global War on Terrorism.

Staff Sgt. Dustin Peters and Staff Sgt. John Self were killed in action in Iraq while not only protecting our way of life but creating a better one for another nation. Our hearts are heavy for the void they left behind but we are grateful for their brave service and the painful sacrifice paid by their families. When asked whom to send, they answered: “Here am I. Send me.”

Our nation’s history is full of ordinary citizens who responded in similar fashion. For this reason, we pause on the last Monday of May and celebrate Memorial Day. This holiday was first officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11 and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

More recently, in an effort to help educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed in December of 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps."

Let us never forget our comrades-in-arms who have gone before us and please remember those who are currently deployed.


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