A Memorial Day Message from WQW's CEO - Warriors & Quiet Waters
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A Memorial Day Message from WQW's CEO

On the last Monday of May each year, Americans pause to remember and honor our war dead. It’s a fitting tribute for those who sacrificed all that they had – and ever would have - in service of something bigger than themselves: things like the honor and safety of their comrades; their mission; the legacy of their unit; the sanctity of our National Ensign; and the security of our Nation.

For those of us who fought beside these heroes and those who loved them, Memorial Day takes on an ever deeper, ever more solemn, and bittersweet meaning. For those who lived with, loved, and fought beside these heroes, it is deeply personal – a blend of regret, loss, immense pride, yearning, and guilt. It is a feeling that hits us in our very bones, hearts, and souls.

Every war veteran and every Gold Star Family member is left to reckon with this loss and its aftermath in their own way. The violence and immense weight of the loss of our warriors have left wounds in their wake – moral, spiritual, and psychological wounds that persist, even now, years and decades later.

This reckoning calls for a collective purpose: to use our time—the time our fallen heroes can no longer claim—in service of others, in service of our communities, and in service of the values, ideals, and beliefs that form the bedrock of our Nation. This dedication strengthens the country they died for and honors their ultimate sacrifice.

The opportunity we all have – all Americans –is to repurpose this grief and loss into a commitment to preserve and strengthen what these heroes fought for. This commitment can transform our collective sorrow into renewed strength and resolve, ensuring that the sacrifices of our fallen are not in vain.

Memorial Day beckons us to remember the sacrifices of our fallen heroes. It’s a time to reflect on why they fought and the freedom and security their sacrifice delivered to us. To honor them, let us take stock of all that is good in this great Nation of ours, finding common ground again and remembering that our fellow Americans are our greatest allies.

To pay the debt we owe for their sacrifice, let us all pledge our time in ways that strengthen our Nation. Engage in community service projects that bring people together, support local initiatives that promote civic education and engagement, demand sacrifice, service, and accountability of our elected officials, engage in rigorous debate without demonizing our opposition, be kind to and help our neighbors, and seek opportunities to be of service to that bedrock of our Nation. By dedicating ourselves to these actions, we honor the legacy of our fallen heroes, strengthen our Nation, and create a better future for our children.

This is the tribute our war dead deserve – an abiding commitment to the guardianship of the Republic and liberty that they bestowed on us.

Brian Gilman

Chief Executive Officer

Col, USMC (Ret)