Established in 1868 to honor Civil War soldiers, Memorial Day is today a day of remembrance for all those who have sacrificed and died in the service of this Nation. In his proclamation to set aside this day, General John A. Logan, the Commander-in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, directed that homage be paid to "...cherish tenderly the memories of our heroic dead who made their breast a barricade between our country and its foes."

Soldiers joining the Army today raised their right hand at a time when our Nation is at war knowing full well what that means. I admire their courage, respect their devotion to duty and applaud their commitment to the defense of our Nation.

What worries our enemies is that men and women of different races, religions and social status can came together to work toward a common purpose. What worries our enemies is that men and women who have other options in their lives volunteer to serve their country and its interests at home and abroad. What worries our enemies is that men and women of strong character and conviction remember what happens when our Nation becomes complacent and are ready to fight for and defend her values and our American way of life.

On Memorial Day, it is important to not only recognize the service of those who have gone before us but to ensure that the purpose for which they fought will never be forgotten. To honor America's fallen heroes 19TH Century American writer Francis Marion Crawford wrote this verse:

'They fell, but o'er their glorious grave
Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.'

God bless those who gave their lives defending this great Nation, our Soldiers who stand ever vigilant today securing our freedoms and God bless the United States of America.