On this day, ceremonies, parades and speeches across the country will pay tribute to the men and women members of the United States Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy who made the supreme sacrifice so you and I could enjoy living in a multi-cultural nation where more than one religion thrives, where more than one political party functions, where more than one gender works in professions and government, and where everyone is free from unreasonable government intrusion.
On this day, the American flag is raised quickly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains until noon. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million three hundred thousand men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, the flag is raised to full-staff for the rest of the day.
When I was a child living in a suburb of Washington, D.C., my father took us on a tour of the Arlington National Cemetery. I remember standing in awe, silent and impressed beyond description, at the solemn and impeccably-dressed US Army sentinel making his 21-step walk around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington and the ceremony on the half-hour for the changing of the sentinel.
To all the military men and women who died, I salute you and will never forget your sacrifice.