Memorial Day: When we remember and salute

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.


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