By Maj. Gen. Donna Martin and Command Sgt. Maj. James Breckinridge
On May 25, the last Monday in May, we observe Memorial Day to honor the fallen warriors who gave their lives in defense of our nation. First observed in 1868, Memorial Day was then known as Decoration Day because it was used to decorate the graves and commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War Soldiers.
Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer. In these unprecedented times, it matters more than ever that you focus on keeping safe. Remember, social gatherings are limited to 10 people at this time and everyone must maintain social distancing or wear face coverings when six feet cannot be maintained.
Plan to stay healthy by exercising regularly, staying hydrated and getting good quality sleep to maintain your physical and mental health. Enjoy the outdoors with family – go for a walk, play sports or do other physical activities. Remember to wear sunscreen, avoid ticks and prevent heat injury!
Regardless of your activity, always have a plan. Continue to drive safely, wear you seatbelt and obey speed limits. Wear all personal protective equipment and ride at your ability level when operating motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and personal watercraft. Driving while distracted by cell phones, alcohol or other impairments can be deadly. Set the example and remain responsible!
Familiarize yourself with local terrain and inclement weather. Heavy rainfall can quickly lead to flash floods, so remember, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”
While enjoying the freedoms made possible by our fallen brothers and sisters in arms, we encourage you to pause for one minute of silence at 3 p.m. Monday to honor their memory. We join their survivors in cherishing their contributions to our nation, and in their honor, reaffirm our commitment to selfless service.
We are proud to serve with you!
Victory Starts Here…Victory Through Skill!
(Editor’s note: Martin is the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Breckinridge is the MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major.)