SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Today, the 154th National Memorial Day Observance, is an important opportunity for Americans to memorialize the veterans who died while in the military service of the United States of America.

From the American Revolution to the Global War on Terror, many great men and women who loved America so much, that they were willing to be a personal sacrifice for it. 

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza, the Commanding General for 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield said, “It is important to educate our citizens and to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day to not only learn from our history, but to honor the legacy of men and women in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

More than 22 million Americans have worn the cloth of the United States of America and of those, over 1 million of them have given the last full measure of faithfulness and service by making the ultimate sacrifice.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Anissa A. Shero. (Photo provided courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

Those such as Staff Sgt. Anissa A. Shero, who was one of three Americans killed when an MC-130H crashed shortly after takeoff south of Gardez, Afghanistan on June 12, 2002. Shero loved to fly and at the time of her death was one of only nine women loadmasters in the Air Force Special Operations Command. 

Army Pvt.2 Rey D. Cuervo died on Dec. 28, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Pvt. 2 Cuervo was assigned to 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based in Fort Polk, La.  He was killed in action while on a mounted patrol when an improvised explosive device hit his vehicle in Baghdad.

Navy Lt. Thomas Mullen Adams died on March 22, 2003 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Lt. Thomas was assigned as an exchange officer with the British Royal Navy’s 849 Squadron and was killed in a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter crash over the Persian Gulf.

Marine Lance Cpl. Juan Lopez died June 21, 2004 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Cpl. Lopez was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.  He was killed by hostile fire in Anbar Province, Iraq.  Cpl. Lopez was from Georgia.

BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN – JUNE 16: The bodies of U.S. military personal Staff Sgt. Anissa A. Shero, Tech. Sgt. Sean M. Corlew, and U.S. Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Peter P. Tycz II are carried onto an Air Force C-17 for repatriation June 16, 2002 at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. Shero, Corlew, and Tycz were killed when the Airforce MC-130 aircraft that they were flying crashed June 13, 2002 after takeoff at a forward airstrip south of Gardez, Afghanistan. (Photo by Scott Nelson/Getty Images)
Navy Lt. Thomas Mullen Adams (Photo by U.S. Navel Academy File/Getty Images)

Also, Army Spc. Miguel Holmes, who died May 6, 2019 serving during Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.  Spc. Holmes died of wounds suffered in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team out of Savannah, Georgia.

Like those soldiers who paid a high price for America’s freedoms, the United States military forces continue to be filled with soldiers who continue to stay ready to show strength and valor whether on the ground, in the seas or in the air to defend the United States of America.

“In the Army, we consider our greatest asset to be our people. Our all-volunteer Army is a credit to Americans of all races, genders and creeds; and our common commitment to defense and love of country binds us together and unifies us. That goes to the heart of  what it means to be an American.” said Maj. Gen. Costanza.  “Memorial Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay homage and renew their commitment to service members who died serving our great Nation. It is a call to remember their lives, their courage, their legacy and their service.”

In today’s Memorial Day address, President Biden said, “Today as a nation, we undertake a sacred ritual, to reflect and remember, cause if we forget the lives that each of those silent markers represent mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses, children, if we forget what they sacrificed, what they made, so that our nation might endure strong, free and united, then we forget who we are, who we are!” WATCH LIVE: Biden delivers Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery – YouTube

General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said during the address, “Our fallen, fought and gave their lives for an idea.  A simple, yet powerful idea.  That idea is America, imbedded in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, for which we swear an oath.  The idea that here in the United States of America, every single one of us is born free and equal.” 

He continued, “No matter who you are, no matter where you came from.  Under these colors of red, white and blue, all of us, every single one of us, is an American, and our fallen lived, knowing that freedom and the idea that is America is worth fighting for and it’s up to us, the living, to ensure they did not die in vain and we do that by recommitting ourselves to the idea, the values that constitute America.”