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Memorial Day Message

2019 Memorial Day Message


I bring you warm greetings from TREA: The Enlisted Association National President Philip Hilinski and the full Board of Directors as we approach Memorial Day 2019. It is inspiring that so many Americans will honor their loved ones with visits to cemeteries or participate in ceremonies across the Nation. A special thanks goes out to those still on active duty, veterans, their loved ones and friends who provide continual support.

Memorial Day’s message is powerful. It is not just a day off from work/school or a day for sales at the mall – it is about a time to reflect, it is about FREEDOM -- to honor the memory of all who served, and especially those who died, in service to America.

The message today is simple – it is for all but especially for the children – the boys and girls that are the future generation – and some that will follow in the footsteps of their great-grandfathers, grandfathers/mothers or fathers/mothers and become America’s service members and veterans.

As you look to celebrate many of our fallen heroes on Memorial Day 2019, here is a challenge for each of you – please take a moment and reflect. We know or are connected in some way to a veteran or an active duty service member. Think about your family or personal connection to veterans or members of the armed forces. Is it a grandparent, an uncle/aunt, or perhaps a parent or spouse?

For me, Ken Greenberg, it is simple: my Dad – an Army Sergeant in World War II and my Mom a civilian employee of the Army. Take a moment now and identify your connection. As adults, we remember and recall the stories – but it is the youth of today that will soon need to carry the torch and pass it on to the next generation.

I have often been asked by children why I advocate for veterans and service members. I explained it is my way to give back to those who served and to honor and recognize the sacrifice made by so many to keep America free.

It is part of life’s lessons – passing the torch from generation to generation – and a small way to remind each person to share the torch.  So on this Memorial Day, let us not only be saddened for the loved ones lost, but rejoice in the FREEDOMS we have and how they were earned and are maintained.

Heroes are everywhere, some are already gone, some are in our presence today and some will become the heroes of tomorrow. Heroes are right in front of you – you will see them at Memorial Day Parades across America, at backyard BBQs, sitting across from you at the dinner table, or as you watch the news on TV. They are the men and women who wear the uniforms of our past, present and future. If you can give them a handshake or hug and say thank you.

The symbols of America and Freedom are interlocked – Flags in the wind, the sound of Taps, headstones on graves at cemeteries and our Nation protected by our service members past, present and future. Take a moment now to honor them and remind the children in your life to carry on the legacy of Memorial Day.

Each Symbol is a simple and dignified tribute to America’s departed heroes. When we bury a service member or veteran part of the final tribute includes a flag and the words “on behalf of a grateful nation.” It is their service and stories across the conflicts and generations, humble and inspire us. On this and every Memorial Day, show gratitude, remember and honor their service and memory. Pass the torch to the next generation and remember that Freedom is not free.

Ken Greenberg

Director of Veterans and Military Policy

TREA: The Enlisted Association

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