With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
–Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address/March 4, 1865
Memorial Day serves as an opportunity for all of us to take heed of these words, and to remember, serve, and honor the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice by serving this nation. The resounding words from President Lincoln’s second inaugural address also serve as a reminder that American men and women continue to sacrifice, even today, all over the world and in defense of our freedom. Massachusetts alone has lost 127 sons and daughters to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This Memorial Day, let us all honor these brave men and women by thanking their families and caring for those they have left behind.
Beyond appreciation, we are all duty bound to honor those that have died in service to this country. And, while the measure of how much we remember these heroes can be gauged by parades, statues and memorials, the true measure of how much we honor those that have fallen is directly proportional to the degree to which we care for and support those who have returned from service and their families.
I’m very proud that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts leads the nation in resources for the care and support of our state’s Veterans; we remember and honor our fallen service members through our support for veterans and their dependents.
Again this year, the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund has organized a moving tribute to our fallen service members from Massachusetts with 20,000 thousand American flags on display in Boston Common; I invite you to stop by to see this impressive visual tribute. I wish you all a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend and to all Veterans and their families, I thank you for your service.
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Photo credit: Sam Ditzion