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COMPACAF sends Memorial Day message

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Fellow Airmen,

Memorial Day weekend unofficially marks the beginning of summer where traditionally Americans across our great Nation gather as families, attend parades and generally experience an event-filled, yet relaxing extended weekend. I sincerely hope you will also take time to relax with your families, loved ones and friends. As you enjoy BBQs, picnics and outdoor activities, look out for each other, practice sound judgment and personal Risk Management. Please keep in mind our Critical Days of Summer theme, "Risk: Double Checks, not Second Thoughts." You are the reason we are the world's greatest Air Force, and the success of our mission depends on you.

This holiday, I also ask that we pause together to reflect on the significance of Memorial Day. Over the next few days, countless volunteers will decorate each and every grave in our national cemeteries with an American Flag, to honor and remember the 1.3 million men and women who have given their lives for our Nation. Many of you know people buried in those graves. You knew their lives, their families, their passions. You are keenly aware of the price they paid to safeguard our freedom. I have also lost several of my brothers and sisters in arms during my 36-year career. They were my friends, my mentors, my wingmen, my family. I'm humbled to have served beside those heroes, and I am forever indebted to them for the sacrifices they made.

At 1500 on Memorial Day, please join me and people throughout our country for a minute of silence during The National Moment of Remembrance. Wherever you are, whether you're in the mountains of Alaska, the tropics of Hawaii/Guam, or stationed in Japan/Korea, I ask that you join me in this moment of silence to honor those who have died in service to our Nation.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I know how much we are asking of you . . . and yet each and every day, you continue to amaze me with your character, your resilience and your willingness to devote your lives in service to our great Nation. I don't have words to express my gratitude for your sacrifice and the ultimate sacrifice of those who came before us, so at 1500 on Monday, I will observe a moment of silence. Please join me in remembering.