Letter to Airmen: COMPACAF delivers Memorial Day message
By Lt. Gen. Russell J. Handy, PACAF Commander, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces
/ Published May 26, 2016
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --
For some, Memorial Day symbolizes the unofficial start of summer, marked by barbequing, camping, and weekend getaways. While I hope you enjoy some extra time with your family and friends, I also urge you to take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day.
The freedoms you and I enjoy were secured by the triumph of brave men and women willing to lay down their lives in the pursuit of liberty. The ideals set forth in America's founding documents are held together by valiant Americans who stood together with Allies and partners to preserve them at the highest cost. Ronald Reagan said it best when he spoke these words, "freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." At home and abroad, American cemeteries serve as reminders that generations of Americans dedicated their lives to the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Remember their sacrifice.
Lastly, the threats to America are real. However, our enemies and potential enemies consistently fail to grasp that there are few things in this world more formidable than the perseverance and resilience you and your families show on a daily basis. I thank each of you for your willingness to devote your lives to duty and country-- it does not go unnoticed. So while you're enjoying some well-deserved time off this weekend, think about the men and women who aren't and why. Think about the families they left behind, the ideals those brave men and women stood for and the morals they upheld. Remember their commitment to liberty. Together, we must honor their legacy by moving forward and keeping the torch of liberty held high. Never let it go.
As always, thank you for your service.