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News & Press: Statements

Memorial Day

Monday, May 29, 2017   (0 Comments)


Dear Friends,

Memorial Day began nearly 150 years ago as a tradition of decorating the graves and tombstones of men who had fallen in the Civil War. In this day, we decorate much more—our homes, our offices, public buildings, and other private and public spaces. We celebrate with parades and BBQs, friends and family. Many of us enjoy a day off.

But Memorial Day is not just for flags and hot dogs. It is, at its core, the day for remembering the men and women who have died while serving in the nation’s armed services. On behalf of OutServe-SLDN, we express our gratitude for the sacrifices of the fallen, we grieve with their families, and we memorialize their service and their lives.

To mark the day, tradition holds that the flag of the United States be raised full-staff, then immediately lowered to half-staff in solemn respect for the more than one million people who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. But at noon, the flag is again raised full-staff, signifying the resolve of the living not to let that sacrifice be in vain, but rather that we “rise up” in defense our continuing fight for liberty and justice.

Today, we would like to honor not just our fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, as well as Department of Defense civilians who lost their lives in service. But we would also like to thank those of us—serving and civilian alike—who continue to venerate the dead by “rising up” in defense of the fight for liberty and justice: for fully equal service for servicemembers who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual; for policies that allow our transgender brothers and sisters to serve openly and with dignity; for policies under which our servicemembers living with HIV are accepted and treated fairly, rather than ostracized and stigmatized. To each of you who continues the fight in honor of those who gave their lives defending it, we give our thanks.

But the fight for liberty and justice is not over. On this Memorial Day, OutServe-SLDN dedicates its work—achieving its mission of full, fair, and equal service for all LGBT servicemembers and veterans—to those who have sacrificed for that goal.

In gratitude for the continued commitment, service, and sacrifice of our armed servicemembers.

- OutServe-SLDN Staff & Board of Directors

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