Office of the President

May 22, 2020

A chance to reflect and honor those who gave their lives

Ana Mari Cauce

Memorial Day is intended as a day for reflection – a time to pause and remember the members of the military who gave their lives in service to the United States. As we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I am reminded of what those who serve in the military can teach us about how to not only survive, but thrive, through this pandemic.

When deployed, soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and women, and guardsmen and women may live with near constant uncertainty, separated from loved ones in situations they cannot control, and amid risks seen and unseen – circumstances which many civilians can now relate to, at least on some level. Yet, in the face of these challenges, and in spite of enormous stress, they perform acts of incredible heroism and deep compassion. Faced with adversity, they find their best selves – as can we.

Those who died for the nation sacrificed their lives in service to something greater than themselves. We honor them when we embrace that same spirit in our own lives and conduct and when we uphold the values that our nation cherishes and strives each day to live up to.

During this strange time, we offer our deepest gratitude to those who gave their lives. And in this quiet moment, our gratitude will echo louder. To their comrades and loved ones who carry their memories: our hearts are with you, on Memorial Day and every day. We can never bring our lost veterans back, but we can work together to make our nation worthy of their sacrifice.