Americans who enjoy Memorial Day cookouts with their families should also remember the sacrifices that made those simple freedoms possible, a Fort Gordon commander told veterans groups Monday.
“I am not sure there is anything we can humbly do to honor the memories of those who gave so much for us,” said Brigadier Gen. John Morrison Jr., the commander of the 7th Signal Command.
During the annual Augusta-CSRA Memorial Day observance at the All Wars Monument at Fourth and Broad streets, Morrison noted the holiday was first observed as Decoration Day on May 30, 1868.
“When you hear the word decorate, you may think of trees or putting streamers on something,” he said. “But decorating doesn’t mean making something look pretty.”
The word, he said, denotes pride and honor – the traits that help the nation’s military protect the liberties enjoyed by everyone.
On a day set aside to remember those who died serving their country, we should also be thankful for the “institution of Joes and Janes” that continues to guard our freedoms.
The nation has remained in persistent conflict for the last 12 years, he said.
“None of our members with less than 12 years’ service know a military that is not at war,” he said. “They believe in everything that is uniquely American – and they believe in freedom.”
Monday’s observance, which included firing squad salutes, presentation and raising of colors and recognition of dozens of veterans’ groups, has been coordinated for 21 years by retired Army Maj. Luther W. “Bill” Price, who received a round of applause and thanks Monday when he announced he will step down from that role.
The All Wars monument, erected in 1983, bears the simple inscription: “Dedicated to the glory of God and to the veterans of all wars.”