SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
As we approach Memorial Day, I encourage all of you to honor the true meaning of the holiday--a day of remembrance to those who fought and died in service to our country.
Memorial Day serves as an opportunity to pause and remember the sacrifices of more than one million Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who gave their lives to secure our freedoms.
For over 240 years, our Nation's service members have protected our freedom and way of life. From its inception as Decoration Day in 1866 to honor the lives lost during the Civil War, to its formal recognition as Memorial Day in 1971, we stand as a nation to honor the sacrifice of our fallen heroes.
Every generation since the beginning of our nation has answered the call to defend and preserve our liberties. Today, as Citizen Airmen, we stand ready to provide combat power for the American people.
Most importantly, let us also not forget our 932d Airmen who gave their lives in the service of our country.
We remember the loss of TSgt. Anthony Campbell who died in Afghanistan on December 15, 2009. Over 50 years ago on September 16, 1971, Lt. Col. Lloyd Clore, a reserve pilot in the 73rd Aeromedical Airlift Squadron, lost his life alongside two pilots from the 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing in a C-9A Nightingale crash.
In addition, we also pay tribute to the families of the fallen. For these families -- the husbands and wives, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers -- every day is Memorial Day.
Col. Biehl, Command Chief Biancur and I are impressed daily by your service, dedication, and resilience. We thank you and your families for your sacrifice. We are proud to serve alongside each and every one of you.