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Business Manager’s Memorial Day Message

Business Manager’s Memorial Day Message
Brothers and Sisters – as we prepare for the long Memorial Day weekend please consider as we all enjoy time with family and friends, let’s take a few minutes to remember the sacrifices that make it possible for us to enjoy our freedoms. If you can, bring your children to a Memorial Day parade. Visit a war memorial or National Cemetery (Abraham Lincoln in Joliet). Read the names on the headstones and think of the families that were forever changed by the loss of that individual. It’s important that we remember why we have a Memorial Day holiday and honor those who fought for our freedom and who, by their sacrifice, have earned our eternal gratitude. It is a long-standing military tradition if you visit a military grave to place a small stone or marble on the headstone to let that solider, airmen, marine or sailor know someone stopped by to honor them and they are not forgotten. This past spring I had the honor to visit Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C and although I have been there many times before to visit buddies I lost in my time in service but this time was even more emotional. I visited section 60 with my good friend Colonel Dave Sutherland and LT. Commander Kim Mitchell. The brave souls buried in section 60 are the young men and women who have died under their command in Iraq and Afghanistan defending our freedom. As I placed a small polished stone on each headstone and heard the personal stories of their heroism the overwhelming feeling of proudness hit me. I placed the stones on each headstone on behalf of all our members of the Gas Workers Local 18007 and the pledge to never forget them and honoring them by the Veterans program we sponsor in Chicago. To date we have provided jobs for over 300 veterans. This changes lives in a positive way that their battle buddies never had a chance to do but we as a union can and have made a difference. As I started to leave another military funeral was about to begin and the realization that over 400,000 brave souls are buried at Arlington the price of freedom is still felt every day. Please enjoy the time off this weekend and try and take a moment to teach the true meaning of Memorial Day by remembering them and their families. Union Proud Union Strong!
Fraternally
Rick
Business Manager
USN

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