Memorial Day 2020: 'Remember, honor and be eternally grateful'

The following is a Memorial Day speech American Legion National Commander James "Bill" Oxford has given in the past and has adapted for 2020. 

We are here today to celebrate Memorial Day. 

But it could be better said “lest we forget”. 

If you are here today as a veteran who served this country, 

YOU are to be commended. Thank you for your service, and the sacrifices you made in service to your country. 

But, if you are here, today is not about you. 

Today is about those who served this nation, and made the SUPREME SACRIFICE in service to this country. 

The American military has served this country for more than 240 years. That service can never be understated or repaid. 

That service has stretched from the American Revolution in 1775, to current service in more than 130 countries around the world today. And to this day Americans continue to die on foreign soil. 

Sadly, none of the men and women who have died in service to this nation can be replaced. There have been more than 1 million of them. 

But their sacrifices must be remembered, and honored. 

Most were young, in their prime. Husbands, sons, daughters, fathers, wives, mothers, uncles. They all left a nation that will be forever in their debt. 

Picture this in your mind’s eye. 

The empty seat at the dinner table. 

Opening presents at Christmas with someone missing. 

The Thanksgiving Day football game in the yard with the star player missing. 

The daughter who has no father to walk her down the aisle. 

All lost in service to you and me and this country.
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