Recognizing Memorial Day Published May 31, 2016 By Col. Michele Edmondson KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Dragons – I’d like to share a moment with you to reflect on Memorial Day. For the last 148 years, Americans have recognized May 30 as Memorial Day. While it is an opportunity to spend time with our families during the long weekend, it’s also a day we should use as a time to pay tribute to those patriots who are not here to spend this weekend with us; those that paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Since the Korean War, more than 4,300 Airmen have selflessly given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. Throughout our country’s existence, more than one million Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have courageously fought around the globe to protect us and support our allies. In our hectic lives it’s easy to think of Memorial Day as just a three-day weekend. But if you can spare a moment, I encourage you to take part in the national moment of remembrance, held at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 30th. Volunteer with organizations that support the families of our fallen. Visit a veteran’s gravesite and lay down some flowers. In the words of the poet Thomas Campbell, “The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.” I am so grateful for those patriots, and for those patriots’ families. They are truly what make this country the wonder it is. Today – and every day – they are missed, they are loved and they are remembered. Thank you for your dedicated service and enduring patriotism.