Every year, on the last Monday of May, we pause as a Nation to commemorate all who have made the ultimate sacrifice in armed service to our country.  From each generation, heroes have risen up in the heat of battle and given their last full measure to ensure America remains the “Land of the Free.” Today, we honor the courageous men and women who have been killed in the line of duty.  We humble ourselves in gratitude for the immense sacrifice they and their families made.  We find inspiration in their courage, perseverance, and devotion to duty.

But for Marines, this day is more than an opportunity to pay tribute to our fallen warriors.  It is also a day to rededicate ourselves to the cause of peace and to carrying on the legacy our fallen heroes forged; a legacy of excellence and of upholding the highest standards.  Marines, I know you are up to the challenge!

As you gather with your loved ones over Memorial Day weekend this year, I want to thank each of you for your dedicated service to our Nation.  Enjoy the holiday, stay safe, and take care of each other.

Semper Fidelis.  Eric M. Smith, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps.


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