Nation’s Service-Employment-Redevelopment Network Pays Tribute to the Men and Women Whose Sacrifice Protects our Freedoms and Our Future

SER National today issued the following statement to remember our nation’s fallen troops whose valor is remembered with respect and gratitude on Memorial Day throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

“Memorial Day is a bittersweet moment for millions of Americans when we honor with fondness and sadness our loved ones and all brave American warriors who have given their lives in sacrifice during combat,” says Ignacio Salazar, SER National Chief Executive Officer. “It is fitting that this solemn tribute happens on the last Monday in May when most flowers across America are in their glorious bloom. Their bright assorted colors remind us that our democracy flourishes and this republic is replenished, in large measure, because of the spirit of those selfless individuals in military uniform who stepped up and said, ‘Here I am, send me.’

In America, Memorial Day is a time we spend with our families, often visiting and adorning with flags and flowers the graves of our soldiers lost in war and whose portraits of them in uniform we proudly and prominently display as a treasured keepsake in our homes. We remember our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, moms and dads who left for battlefields in faraway places and did not return. Similarly, we can only hope and pray that the people in those foreign lands, where many of our brave were laid to rest during WWI and WWII among a sea of hallowed graves, continue to honor the price America paid to help defend their right to live free of tyranny.

Important too is appreciating the history of Memorial Day, which was initially known as Decoration Day. This was a reference to the acknowledgment and honor, often with medals, placed on a fallen comrade for exceptional bravery during combat. The origin of the annual Memorial Day tribute has its roots in the years shortly after the American Civil War, which remains, until the present, the single costliest conflict in our history. More than 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, more than in all other wars American soldiers have fought combined. This unfathomable casualty count remains a sober reminder of the heavy toll paid by our country when divided among ourselves.

May we also pay special tribute on this Memorial Day to the women soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Nearly 700 females have been killed in combat-related incidents since WWII. Almost 200 of those have died due to enemy gunfire or weapons, the majority in Iraq and Afghanistan. Women have performed in battle to the absolute highest level of patriotism and selflessness alongside their male counterparts. They, too, deserve our enduring and heartfelt gratitude. May we celebrate Memorial Day with our families and pause to thank all those who made it possible for our nation to continue being the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

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