Lt. Gen. North sends Memorial Day message

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. Gary North
  • 9th Air Force/USAFCENT commander
On May 25, 2009 we will again honor our service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation as we have done for the past 141 years. In last few years of commenting on the celebration of Memorial Day, I've discussed with you the history of Memorial Day, how it became a national holiday and even shared with you memorable quotes from speeches past. 

But this year, let me simply express my gratitude...and our collective respect to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our nation during past conflicts and those who have lost their lives supporting the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let us pay special tribute to the nine airmen we lost this year supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are SSgt Timothy Bowles, SSgt Timothy Davis, Maj Duane Dively, TSgt Philip Myers, SrA Jacob Ramsey, Maj Rodolfo Rodriguez, TSgt Jackie Larsen, SrA Omar James McKnight and SSgt Brian Hause.

They served with distinction and honor. They are heroes to us all. As we remember those who we have lost, let us offer a "Thank you" for their sacrifice--a "thank you" to their families for all they have sacrificed as well. They offered their sons and daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers for our nation and for developing nations throughout the world. This does not go unnoticed by our nation, or by the people for whom our heroes shed their very lifeblood to protect and defend.

Let us remember them this Memorial Day and as you serve in your place of duty, near or far, or for those service members who can share day with their families. We will never forget their sacrifice or the sacrifices of those who have gone before us.