Today I’m sharing with you the speech I will be giving this morning at the Memorial Day Ceremony on our Town Common. It’s short but meaningful, I think, and I hope you will take something from it that will carry you through this day.
Greetings from the Board of Selectmen! It gives me great pride to be part of our town’s Memorial Day ceremony and to have this opportunity to speak to you about how we can respect and honor those who gave their lives fighting for our nation.
More than 1.1 million men and women have died during wartime in our country, an astounding number that doesn’t even take into account those who were wounded or went missing, and it’s a number that should truly humble us. It’s a number that represents people – sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters and friends, people who were loved and missed and mourned. Personally, I do not know what it’s like to send someone you love off to war. I do not know how it feels to say, good bye, be careful, I’m proud of you and I love you. But I do know those who have done just that and said those words. And I do know those who have gotten a telegram, a middle of the night phone call, a knock on the door, with the news they dread, that the one they love most in the world isn’t coming home. This is the reality of military service and it is what we take to heart on Memorial Day: we are able to be here largely thanks to those who are not.
This gathering here may be small, it may even feel insignificant, but that’s not the case. Our gathering is part of other gatherings taking place all across our country today and together we are mighty, we are proud, and we are thankful. May God bless and keep our fallen, our veterans and active military, and the United States of America.