By Vice Adm. John B. Mustin, Chief of Navy Reserve
Every year, we pause the final Monday of May to honor and reflect on those who fell in the service of our great nation and in the defense of our way of life.
The recognition of Memorial Day originated in 1868, when General John A. Logan proclaimed a “Decoration Day” to honor the union soldiers lost during the Civil War. Since then, the recognition has expanded as a day of remembrance for all service men and women who have lost their lives in all American wars. Secretary Harker’s ALNAV released earlier this week (below), rightly recognizes all of our fallen heroes since the founding of our nation.
Today, for many, the Memorial Day holiday marks the unofficial start of summer, and kicks off a long weekend and some retail sales. We know it’s much more than that. And particularly this year, as the nation opens up from the pandemic, the weekend celebration will offer time to rejoin with family and friends — some we may not have seen for 14 months.
I hope you enjoy the time together, and are able to relax, and recharge. You’ve earned it.
Finally, remember to treat liberty as a mission, and to be safe. I have learned over the years that holiday safety is the by-product of a good plan. I have also learned those who fail to plan expose themselves to the greatest risk of injury, usually by falling into the trap of compounding bad decisions. Allow yourself enough time to get to your destination on time, ensure you exercise moderation in the use of alcohol, and know who to call if you find yourself in an unexpected situation. And, as always, keep an eye out for your shipmates away from their family this long weekend.
Team, I am proud of every one of you, and the great work we are doing around the world as a force. Be safe and enjoy your long weekend.
Vice Adm. John B. Mustin sends.