Honoring those who serve this Memorial Day

As a veteran and commander in chief of the Utah National Guard, Memorial Day has always held special significance for me. It is a day set aside as a national holiday for we the living to honor more than 1.2 million Americans who have given their lives in our nation’s wars to preserve our liberties.

Thanks to their sacrifice, America continues to be a beacon of liberty and hope that inspires countless millions across the globe. Thanks to their example, we are the inheritors of a proud legacy, as well as the sacred responsibility to uphold the lofty ideals they so nobly defended at so dear a price.

Let us not forget the purpose of Memorial Day. Let us not take liberty from honoring and remembering our brave men and women in uniform who, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “have laid so costly a sacrifice on the altar of freedom.”

May we ever reflect on the valor and sacrifices of our honored dead who embody the stirring lyrics penned by Katharine Lee Bates in 1913:

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!