The following post is by the Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy. This post was SECNAV’s message to the fleet in commemoration of Memorial Day 2010 as ALNAV 038/10.
Since the creation of Memorial Day in the wake of the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of Americans have fought and died for our country in battles across the globe so that freedom could endure and our nation prosper.
Some are fighting for our country still, in Afghanistan and Iraq. In doing so, they are carrying on the legacy of service and sacrifice forged by Marines, Sailors, soldiers and airmen at places like Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Midway and Khafji. Names to which we now add Tora Bora, Baghdad, Fallujah and Marjeh.
Let us not forget the sacrifice of those who died. Let us not forget the deeper meaning behind the day amid the parades and barbecues that have come to herald the beginning of summer. Let us not forget the real reason that men and women in uniform march each year.
Memorial Day is our tribute to the memory of the fallen. It is our promise that they will not be forgotten. Godspeed.