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OWC Observes Memorial Day – We Remember and Honor

Today is a day of remembrance. We remember and honor the men and women of the United States Armed forces who died in service, making the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation and preserve the freedom and liberty it stands for.

‘Old Glory’ is proudly flown year-round at OWC. We lowered our U.S. flag to half-mast at sunrise and returned the flag to full-mast at noon today in memory of those fallen and with respect to Memorial Day decorum. We take a moment of silence, remembering our fallen.

The American Flag set to Half-Mast at OWC HQ. Dawn, May 31st, 2021
The American Flag set to Half-Mast at OWC HQ. Dawn, May 31st, 2021

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. It was effectively made part of a three-day weekend as opposed to a solitary day of remembrance.

We’ve all been part of a different type of battle this past year. Many freedoms that were easily taken for granted were suspended in strategies seeking to defeat Covid-19. As we turn a corner on the pandemic, I have an even greater appreciation for these freedoms as they are restored. I appreciate all our liberty and the freedom those we honor have given their lives to protect.

I also believe that the 1971 “3-day” legislation should be revoked. Our experience of this past year can only elevate the fact that Memorial Day isn’t just for another three-day weekend. It also bothers me when I hear sales and promotions commercializing this “weekend.” I hope for more remembrance of those fallen and their great sacrifice for us.

Flying half-mast shortly before the noon raising
Flying half-mast shortly before the noon raising

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.

I count my lucky stars having such great opportunities in this nation with freedom, liberty, and acceptance of all people. Freedom allows us imagination. We have the liberty to act. We have great diversity enabling new ideas without limit.

OWC’s Warehouse Manager, an OWC team member now of over 20 years – respectfully lower our flag this morning. Previously from Serbia and Croatia, she and her husband immigrated here shortly before becoming part of team OWC, refugees of war. It was 18 years ago that our OWC family celebrated Mirjana Madzarac’s U.S. citizenship. We are a melting pot built on hard work and sacrifice. She is an amazing team member and part of a diverse foundation core to OWC. 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 23 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 doing 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.

Sky Bright, our Stars & Stripes at full-mast noon @ Woodstock HQ on Memorial Day 2021.
Sky Bright, our Stars & Stripes at full-mast noon @ Woodstock HQ on Memorial Day 2021.

While Covid-19 created challenges that few of us would have dreamed of, “We the People” prevails. In respect and honor of all the men and women who have given their lives, the responsibility falls upon all of us to ensure their sacrifice is never wasted.

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. 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, we 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.

Larry O'Connor
the authorOWC Larry
OWC Founder & CEO
Larry O'Connor is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Illinois-based Other World Computing (OWC®). Starting as a one-man business in 1988, O'Connor has provided the leadership and vision to establish OWC as the leading provider of technology products and services today.
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5 Comments

  • I honor all victims of wars. Soldiers on all sides. Those traumatized by launching bombs at people and those traumatized by receiving them. Workers who get sick from the toxic impacts of making weapons and neighbors of those factories who are poisoned. Most of the dead and wounded from current conflicts are civilians but everyone bleeds the same.

    World War II, the “good war” that fought the Nazis and imperial Japan, ushered in what President Eisenhower called the military industrial complex. The nuclear arms race will continue to poison the planet for generations to come even if the weapons are not detonated. It is also worth remembering that the Russians / USSR directly confronted the Nazis more than the US and Britain, with over 20 million dead on their side.

    “We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
    — Martin Luther King

    “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.”
    –Marine Corps General Smedley Butler

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
    — President Dwight Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

    “we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
    — President John F. Kennedy, June 10, 1963, calling off the Cold War

  • “protect our nation and preserve the freedom and liberty it stands for”
    Please educate us on how our liberty or freedom were in jeopardy in Iraq, Libya, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Somalia, Laos, Panama, or Korea?
    I do not deny that people lost their lives in service.
    But lets be clear who that was in service of. It wasn’t ‘our freedom’. It was for Wall St.

  • As a veteran, I appreciate your post. I served in combat to help those who didn’t have the liberties we enjoy get them for themselves. Sadly, in one nation we were stopped from achieving that goal by those who paraded in the streets of our own country in the ’70s. In pre-Unified Germany, we kept the wolves at bay until they simply ran out of cash, and their nation is bigger and stronger for our service. As we say in the military, Armed Forces day is to honor those in uniform today, Veterans Day is for honoring those who took it off, and Memorial Day is for honoring those who died wearing it.

  • Wow. Thank you!

    Having many things of late, completely unexpected and out of my control, requiring my every-waking-moment (and then some), coming across this amazing, refreshingly true article (5 days later) has inspired hope in this weary, but thankful citizen.

    Larry, thank you so much for your beautiful and much needed just (as in, righteous) respectful words, honoring this nation’s true heroes, who gave their lives in protecting our God-given right to the freedoms you so eloquently illuminated.

    I wholeheartedly “yeah, and amen!” everything you wrote — including the part about a three-day weekend. The commercialization of so many once-honorable remembrances and observations has wrought much harm to the American psyche; emphasizing self over others deserving our love and gratitude, leading this very blessed nation into the problems we hear and see plastered over every means of communication at every turn. So, thank you. Thank you for running your business with such ethic and honor. Thank you for giving us patrons the opportunity to do business with one(s) who are genuine and honest in providing us with amazing products and service. And, thank you for your words — words that are just as important today as they were the 31st of May, and, will continue to ring true infinitum.

    Gratefully yours,
    Miss Diana

  • Thank you for sharing such heart-felt thoughts. These times have been very troubling and it’s a good idea to slow down a little and remember what’s important. Well done!