Adjutant General’s 2018 Memorial Day Message

SANDSTON, Va. — Memorial Day is a time of national awareness and reverence that honors the military men and women who gave their lives in defense of our nation and its values. Whether you are taking part in a ceremony in your community or enjoying time with family and friends, I encourage everyone to pause for a personal moment of silence to honor our fallen comrades.

Each of us should remember, recognize and honor the ultimate sacrifice made by fallen Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. This is a chance for us to remember their lives, their courage, and their service, as well as a time for each of us who wears the cloth of our country to reaffirm our commitment to selfless service. Each of us should strive to carry on the legacy of excellence embodied by those we remember on Memorial Day.

On Monday at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, we remember the ten Virginia National Guard Soldiers lost to hostile enemy action while on federal active duty in service to their country since Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the other 289 Virginians who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Global War on Terror. In total, there are 11,771 Virginians who died while serving in the armed forces in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and the Global War on Terror who are recognized at the Virginia War Memorial. They and their families remain in our thoughts and prayers.

On June 1 at the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial, we will remember the men and women who died in the line of duty on official state or federal orders under Title 32 of the United States Code. Thirty two Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are remembered among the nearly 900 Virginia public safety officers at the memorial site at Capitol Square in Richmond.

Read more about the Virginia National Guard’s fallen warriors at https://go.usa.gov/xQpxD.

Memorial Day weekend is also the traditional kick off of the summer season, and many of us will gather for celebrations with friends and loved ones. Please be safe in whatever activities you have planned because we need every Soldier, Airman, Virginia Defense Force member and civilian employee in order to accomplish our missions, and more importantly, your families need you too.

It is also important for us to remember the men and women who are still deployed far from home, including more than 100 Virginia National Guard personnel. We are proud of their service and look forward to their safe return.

I want to thank each of you for the great work you do in supporting and defending the commonwealth and nation, and I especially thank your families and employers for their critical support to you and the Virginia National Guard. We couldn’t accomplish our mission without them.

It is an honor to serve with you.

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams
28th Adjutant General of Virginia