Today we remember and honor those of our U.S. Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice, given their lives to protect and preserve our freedom.
‘Old Glory’ is proudly flown year-round at OWC. In memory of those fallen and with respect to Memorial Day decorum, we lowered our U.S. flag to half-mast at sunrise and returned the flag to full-mast at noon today. We take a moment of silence, remembering our fallen.
At 3:00 p.m., we will honor these servicemen and women with a moment of silence and the playing of Taps. I hope you will join us in this National Moment of Remembrance wherever you may be.
Memorial Day has been celebrated since May 1868 when General John Logan proclaimed May 30 as Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day). On that first Memorial Day, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
The website www.USMemorialDay.org is a great source of information on this important day and its history. The site tells us that in 1971, Congress passed legislation that changed this day of recognition to instead fall on the last Monday of May. As opposed to a solitary day of remembrance, it was effectively made part of a three day weekend.
This year will be one of a more private commemoration. For what I hope will be, but a relatively short time, Covid-19 has changed the way we live our lives and, if nothing else, has made me appreciate even more the freedom and liberty those we honor gave their lives to protect.
With this glimpse of experience into a world with freedom suppressed, Memorial Day has an even greater meaning to me. More than ever, and to restore the original intent, I believe the 1971 legislation should be revoked so more people remember Memorial Day isn’t just for another three-day weekend. It also bothers me when I hear sales and promotions commercializing this ‘weekend.’
While Memorial Day is mainly intended to pay tribute to the U.S. men and women who died during military service, Veterans Day, on November 11, is intended to thank living veterans for their service.
Supporting veterans and active-duty personnel has been something OWC has become increasingly involved in since Desert Storm in the early ‘90s.
It is also our great privilege, and OWC is proud to welcome our vets to employment at OWC and glad to facilitate any transition needed in doing so.
The great service our vets have given our country in service continues as they bring their unique skills, loyalty, and maturity into civilian roles. We are extremely fortunate to have these individuals on our team and in our local communities.
As Covid-19 temporarily tests and illustrates the normal we had, we are lucky to live in a nation with freedom, liberty, opportunity, and acceptance.
OWC’s Warehouse Manager, OWC team member of 19 years – was on-site to respectfully lower our flag. Previously from Serbia and Croatia, she and her husband immigrated here just over twenty years ago, refugees of war. It was 17 years ago that our OWC family celebrated Mirjana Madzarac’s U.S. citizenship. We are a melting pot built on hard work and sacrifice. I couldn’t ask for a better team member, and I sincerely appreciate all that makes it possible for her and all of us to be here with the opportunities we have today.
Jennifer Soule, a team member of over 22 years, continued in her mission, setting our Woodstock flag to full staff at noon today. She is proud of the service her uncles in the Army, Air Force, and Navy have given our country. Another American success story, she started here as a temp helping with sales and customer service. Since then, she’s done just about everything there is to do at OWC. It is in the role of OWC president that she continues to power us onward and upwards today.
We have great Freedom and with that, great Opportunity. Covid-19 has created challenges, but ‘We the People’ will prevail. Men and Women have given their lives to protect this. It is up to us to see that their sacrifice is never wasted. This is a responsibility that falls upon all of us.
Whatever efforts we undertake to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all those men and women serving in our Armed Forces today and those who have served in the past, we can never do enough because it all pales in comparison to what they and their families have sacrificed for all of us. Giving back is the least we can do; and we do so openly, honestly, and with the utmost respect for their service.
On this Memorial Day – and every day, thank you for taking a moment to offer a gesture of thanks to our men and women serving our nation. There is no gesture too small, something as simple as walking over to a member of our Armed Forces and saying thank you can mean the world. Thank you.