On Memorial Day, we take time to remember the brave men and women who gave their lives for our country. Since World War I, many thousands of Americans served our country in its darkest hours. Thanks to their brave work and sacrifices, we are still free.
Many are right now celebrating with cookouts and trips. But we are only able to enjoy the day, in freedom, because many died in our place. They fought back against tyranny, oppression, and evil. They put aside their comfort, livelihoods, and future so that today, we can be safe.
Far be it for our country to let this day go by without remembering them. In our nation’s Capital, there is a new, beautiful display. It features a single memento for every last service person who gave their lives for the United States since WWI. Appropriately, they are poppies.
More than 645,000 poppies displayed at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial for Memorial Day weekend represented the military men and women who have given their lives since World War I to defend the freedom of Americans.
The display sponsored by USAA stood on the National Mall in the midst of the Rolling Thunder XXXI First Amendment Demonstration Run and a musical and speakers tribute to veterans on Sunday. The public was given the opportunity to dedicate a poppy to fallen heroes either online or through tablets set up at the display.
Next to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where the Rolling Thunder demonstration route came to rest was the poppy memorial. After passing the screens for dedicating a poppy came a wall displaying the casualty numbers from U.S. foreign wars since WWI. More than 116,000 American military men and women were casualties of WWI from 1917 to 1918. WWII saw more than 405,000 casualties from 1941 to 1945. The wall quoted General George S. Patton, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
Poppy Memorial on the National Mall in honor of all the fallen American military service members #MemorialDay @USAA pic.twitter.com/7nUioxyIdn
— Michelle Moons (@MichelleDiana) May 27, 2018
Poppies became a symbol of our fallen soldiers because it was the only flower that grew over their lime-covered graves. It is a poignant reminder of the lives that were lost in service of our values and freedoms.
Over 600,000 Americans have died serving in the wars of WWI, WWII, the Korea War, Vietnam, and in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition to the beautiful wall of poppies, biker brotherhood Rolling Thunder offered a rousing tribute in Washington. Their bikes roared down the National Mall, a powerful and dramatic tribute to our real-world heroes.
Today President Trump honors our soldiers by laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.
We will never forget the sacrifices the made so we can be free. Today and every day.