Memorial Day: A Heritage of Service

  • Published
  • By General Paul V. Hester
  • Pacific Air Forces Commander
Since 1868, Americans have paused the third Monday in May each year to remember the men and women who have answered the call of service and have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our Nation and our way of life.
This year I’m privileged to join the millions of Americans in honoring the heroic men and women of our past … as well as our present. Our history is filled with brave citizens who, when called upon, rose to meet incredible challenges to secure liberty for billions of people around the world. That remarkable spirit of sacrifice continues today as America fights once again to ensure freedom and democracy prevail over extremism and terror.
In PACAF, today’s Airmen are following in the footsteps of the generations before them who served in harm’s way. From the Far East Air Forces of World War II to our expeditionary Airmen in Afghanistan and Iraq, Airmen in the Pacific have selflessly defended America far from her shores – many having given their lives to do so.
So on this Memorial Day, a grateful nation remembers those who have fallen for the great pursuit of freedom – their sacrifice lives within each of us. And we salute all of our magnificent men and women who proudly continue their legacy of young heroes keeping America safe.