To the editor:

On Monday, May 28, Americans across the nation and citizens located across the world will pause throughout the day to observe Memorial Day.  Since its official observation on May 5, 1868, when it was called Declaration Day, it has been a day of remembrance for those who sacrificed and died for our nation’s defense. Since last Memorial Day, 921 brave Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat overseas. As we pause during this busy weekend of movies, barbecues and time with family and friends, let us remember those service members that can’t be with us, from current and past conflicts.

Memorial Day brings with it something different for everyone – memories of fallen comrades, friends, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. It brings with it a solemn state of mind and a burning desire to honor those who so proudly stood behind the ideals upon which this great country was founded and were willing to fight for what is right.

For me, it is men like Chris Petty, George Wood, John Teal and Stephen Smith, all with whom I served overseas and who paid the ultimate price for our freedom on a battlefield far away.  

To honor all those who died while serving our nation, I ask you to join us this weekend for a free concert Saturday at 7 p.m. by the Kansas Army National Guard 35th Infantry Division Band. It is a patriotic concert at Leavenworth High School. Or come out for the Memorial Day observation at the Leavenworth National Cemetery on Monday at 9 a.m.