Memorial Day is one of our more special holidays. In fact, calling it a holiday is almost a sign of disrespect. It is anything but. Lots of people have their own Memorial Day story or memory. Me too…
Many years ago I served — for one day — as part of a massive Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard honor guard at Arlington National Cemetery. Then, as now, members of the Army’s Third Infantry (the Old Guard) will place just over 220,000 flags at individual grave sites at the cemetery. Maybe you know some people who are buried there. I do.
Typically our Memorial Day column is, as it should be, a somber thank you to people who serve, in or out of uniform, and especially to people working today. But I recently heard from a long-time, now retired fed, who had some thoughts and comments that are worth passing along. Because they reflect, probably, what so many of you think, have done or are doing. So, without further comment, here it is:
Memorial Day is about more than summer road trips and barbecues.
For 30 years, I served our country, especially those least fortunate in our society, alongside my fellow federal workers.
In addition to serving every American, one of the federal workforce’s greatest responsibilities is to support and equip our nation’s men and women in uniform. My civil servant colleagues and I felt a great responsibility to provide for our troops, and we mourned each time we learned of a fallen soldier.
So to me, Memorial Day is sacred. On behalf of America’s federal workers — half of whom work directly with our nation’s military – we salute our fallen heroes and thank the men and women who are currently serving around the world to defend the United States. — Marc Harris”, president, NARFE Florida Chapter 2364
As is the Federal Report Memorial Day tradition, the Nearly Useless Factoid steps aside, takes a moment to pause… and remember.
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Obama: Nation must do more for military heroes President Barack Obama says the nation must do more than just remember its fallen heroes on Memorial Day. In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the country must care for the loved ones the fallen leave behind. He says the country must also make sure that all veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned.
Deaths at Atlanta VA hospital prompt scrutiny A patient with a history of substance abuse and suicidal thoughts was left alone in a waiting room inside the Atlanta VA Medical Center, where he obtained drugs from a hospital visitor and later died of an overdose. The case is the latest in a string of problems at Veterans Affairs facilities nationwide, prompting outrage from elected officials and congressional scrutiny of what is the largest integrated health care system in the country with nearly 300,000 employees.
VA chipping away at oldest disability claims in backlog The Department of Veterans Affairs, struggling with an intractable backlog of disability payment claims, which currently stands at 559,000, has focused its resources within the past month on veterans who have been waiting the longest – two years or more. VA officials say the approach is working, and that in a month, the oldest part of the backlog will be completely eliminated.
IRS replaces official in tea party controversy oving quickly to stem a raging controversy, the new acting head of the Internal Revenue Service started cleaning house Thursday by replacing the supervisor who oversaw agents involved in targeting tea party groups. A day after she refused to answer questions at a congressional hearing, Lois Lerner was placed on administrative leave, according to congressional sources.