Today is a day of remembrance. The freedom we have to do, to worship, to pursue life, and liberty – I know this didn’t come without a cost. Today we remember and honor the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who died in service; they who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation, preserve the freedom and liberty such that we have today. May we never forget.
‘Old Glory’ is proudly flown year-round at OWC. Our flag was lowered to half-mast at sunrise today and then returned to full-mast at noon in memory of those fallen and with respect to Memorial Day decorum. We take a moment of silence, remembering our fallen. I pray that independent of our differences, we stay united in the good of our founders’ intent.
Where ever you may be, it is a tradition that we pause for a moment of silence and listen to the playing of Taps at 3PM (your local time). I hope you will join us in honoring our fallen servicemen and women during this National Moment of Remembrance.
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 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.
I have mixed feelings about the “3-day” legislation. Memorial Day weekend is not just another three-day weekend or an opportunity to shop a great sale. I believe it is important that we are vigilant in acknowledging the sacrifices that brought us here and reflective on what we need to do to continue honoring those that fought for our freedom indiscriminately with hope for an ever better future.
It is the least we can do but to give remembrance of those fallen, recognizing their great sacrifice for us.
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 to have enjoyed such great opportunities in this nation with freedom, liberty, and acceptance of all people. Freedom allows us imagination. We have the liberty to act. The freedom to worship without prosecution. We have great diversity enabling new ideas without limit.
This is OWC’s 35th year and this is the 15th year of our Memorial Day remembrance at our current Woodstock, IL HQ. Mirjana Madzarac, an immigrant, OWC Team member for over 20yrs, and our Sr. Warehouse Manager honored this day with the lowering of the flag this morning. She and her family, of Serbia and Croatia, were refugees of war when they came to the land of opportunity. Twenty years ago, we shared and celebrated her becoming a US Citizen. We are a melting pot built on hard work and sacrifice. She is an amazing team member and part of a diversity 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.
Chris Anderson, local Cub Scout Troop Leader and multi-Decade leader at OWC, along with his family, took the honor of hoisting our flag back up to full mast―sharply at Noon today. As we honor our fallen, we stand tall with respect and appreciation. I thank Chris and his family for the time given today and each day, recognizing the service given and that we can give. Chris is responsible for driving OWC’s quality and qualification in product engineering. Attention to detail, commitment every day recognizing the opportunity we are provided while ensuring the trust given is always earned.
Life is not intended to be easy. It is the challenges that we grow by, the opportunities that we strive by, and the recognition of all that is God given and have respect by. I believe that being in service to each other and using our freedom to find and bring out the best in all helps honor the men and women who have given their lives as we live in ways that 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.