Brig. Gen. John J. McGuiness

1. The present day celebration of Memorial Day traces its roots back to 1868 as members of the Grand Army of the Republic heeded the request of their commander, General John A. Logan, to decorate the graves of Union and Confederate Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. After World War I, Memorial Day became a day of remembrance, honoring all Americans who died in war. As we celebrate this year’s Memorial Day, let’s not only pay tribute to our heroes past, but of our present day heroes as well. Particularly, those courageous men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as they are added to the rolls of those we honor and remember.

2. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Memorial Day, be aware of the risks inherent to your activities and the need to manage these risks with care. Memorial Day is the traditional start of the summer outdoor activities season and activities like, boating, biking, driving, fishing, swimming, and other outdoor activities carry certain risks. Our training, good judgment and common sense will help minimize the risk and significantly increase the enjoyment of not only the holiday but throughout the rest of summer as well.

3. As leaders, we must be engaged at every level to influence the mindset that leads to safe behavior. I charge each of you with the mission of enforcing standards, sharing and applying your safety knowledge, watching out for each other, and working together as a team to ensure you and your loved one’s safety.

4. I would like to personally wish you and your families a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day.

JOHN J. McGUINESS
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
Commanding General, Natick Soldier
Systems Center

Page last updated Wed May 25th, 2011 at 09:09