• Have a safe Memorial Day weekend

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  • Col. Andrew Shoffner | Garrison Commander
    Memorial Day is a day we remember and honor America’s fallen warriors — courageous men and women who died in military service.
    Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, which was a day set aside to remember those who have died in our nation’s service. First proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by Gen. John Logan in General Order No. 11, the first Decoration Day was recognized by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. Americans continued this tradition each following year, and in 1971, President Richard Nixon declared Memorial Day to be a national holiday.
    This Memorial Day, we express our deepest appreciation to the men and women in uniform who gave, what President Abraham Lincoln called, “their last full measure of devotion” so that this nation might be free. We honor their memory and hope for the peace for which they laid down their lives. We mourn with the families and friends of those we have lost, and hope they find comfort in knowing their loved ones died for a cause greater than themselves.
    They did not fight to conquer the world, but to liberate it. Each of them raised his or her right hand to serve something greater than themselves, an ideal and a cause, or just simply for the love of country. However, they all shared one common thread: they believed that the principles of life and liberty for all people were worth their sacrifice.
    We honor the selfless actions of these brave men and women who thought themselves ordinary, but rose to meet seemingly impossible expectations to keep hope and freedom alive, not just in America, but throughout the world. They were real people — sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and husbands. They were strong and vibrant. They loved and were loved. And they are missed.
    Today we must reflect and renew our commitment to the fallen — our commitment to live our own lives as fully as possible, and to always be willing and able to give back to our families, our communities and our nation. In doing these things we honor them, and their legacy will live on.
    If you are in the area this weekend, please consider attending a Memorial Day observance. Memorial Day activities are planned both on and off post. The Memorial Day observance is at 9 a.m. May 29 at the Leavenworth National Cemetery. The Memorial Day observance at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery begins at 11:40 a.m.
    A number of events are also planned in and around the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., this weekend, including a free public ceremony at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day. Admission to the museum is free for veterans and active-duty military personnel, while admission for the general public is half-price May 26-29. To learn more, visit www.theworldwar.org.
    Page 2 of 2 - Because Memorial Day also marks the start of summer season activities, we must also ensure a safe and enjoyable weekend. Although we cannot eliminate all of the hazards associated with this time of year, we can minimize their effects, ensuring risk management is integrated into all that we do. Whether taking a long trip, barbecuing, participating in recreational activities, or performing chores around your home, make sure to include safety measures in your activities. Let’s all do our part to make this a safe and enjoyable holiday.
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