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Remembering the sacrifices of those who came before us

By Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski Air Force Global Strike Command commander

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Memorial Day is a time to remember military men and women who, in life, served our nation with honor. This Memorial Day many of us will enjoy the company of family and friends, but I'd also ask you to take time to remember our fallen and keep in your thoughts those serving overseas and on alert. As President Kennedy once said, "A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers."

We are a nation with heartfelt memorials to our fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. Across the state line from our headquarters here in Louisiana, for instance, is the Civil War National battlefield at Vicksburg with a solemn collection of monuments. Every city or town honors it's veterans with a monument or memorial. Consider taking time on this long weekend to visit a memorial near your home. For those of you with families it can be an opportunity to teach the meaning behind the words inscribed on the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., "Freedom is not Free."

Also, as you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, please do so safely. This weekend also begins the "101 Critical Days of Summer," when vacation, outdoor activities, and travel create more off-duty risk for our people and their families. Use caution, be good Wingmen, and enjoy a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!