2013 Memorial Day Message from Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr.

To: The Virginia National Guard, Civilian Employees, Families and Friends,

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr.

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr.

Memorial Day is a time for us to pause, reflect and reconnect with our country’s history and our national values by honoring those who fought and died for the very principles we all hold so dear. The Continental Army, Navy and Marines were established by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 to defend the new nation against the British Empire in the Revolutionary War. Since that time, the United States Armed Forces have protected our national interests, at home and abroad during times of peace and war. On May 30, 1868, the first official Memorial Day observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery to honor more than 20,000 soldiers of the Civil War.

On Monday 27, 2013, representatives of the Virginia National Guard will honor Virginia’s Fallen Heroes at the Virginia War Memorial during the Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony. I strongly encourage each of you to take this opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of America’s fallen military service members and their families.

The Virginia National Guard has mobilized more than 15,000 Soldiers and Airmen in support of domestic and overseas operations since 2001. We lost ten Soldiers to hostile enemy fire in Iraq and Afghanistan during that time, and our thoughts and prayers are with their family members, friends and communities as we reflect on the ultimate sacrifice they made for freedom.

Historically, between now and Labor Day, we experience a marked increase in accidental injuries and fatalities whether on or off duty across our organization. Please make the smart decision to evaluate your summer time professional and recreational activities to mitigate for safety. Our Soldiers, Airmen and civilian workforce are the most important resource necessary to retain a premier, ready, relevant and responsive force that can rapidly execute the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of Virginia. Thank you for your hard work each day. We wish all a happy and safe Memorial Day and holiday weekend. It is an honor to serve with you all.

Sincerely,

DANIEL E. LONG, JR.
Major General, VaARNG
The Adjutant General