Most everybody has some thoughts to share on this holiday, thoughts which focus on the hundreds of thousands of brave fighting military personnel of this country who gave their courage, dedication, patriotism, time and in many cases their very lives, in order that freedom might continue to survive, and that this generation and future generations can continue to live in peace and in the confidence that America, and all it represents, still exists.
Memorial Day is a time to remember and reflect, to honor those brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice in some God-forsaken part of the world on behalf of all of us who cherish our liberty and freedom. We can not and must not ever forget them or take lightly the sacrifices they made on behalf of all of us.
This year I bought a flag. I didn't buy the "Stars & Bars" we see in so many places public and private on this holiday, but I bought the black-and-white POW-MIA flag that in its own haunting simplicity has so much to say. The flag was created in 1971 after much effort from Mrs. Michael Hoff, an MIA wife and member of the National League of Families. In 1989, after approval by a near-unanimous vote of congress, it was put on permanent display in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building, and is the only flag ever displayed there. It is also the only flag other than the Stars and Stripes to fly over the White House.
The power of this flag lies in its simplicity - colorless black and white with the silhouette of a soldier's bowed head, a watchtower, guard, and barbed wire in the background, underscored by the words "You Are Not Forgotten" at the bottom.
On this day of remembrance, let's remember those who fought and survived, and those who fought and died for their country. Let's also take an extra moment to remember those who never came back and whose families continue to grieve and still wait for any word from their missing loved ones. Truly, they must never be forgotten.Happy Memorial Day, 2001.