May 30, 2016


As I begin let me take a moment to thank our America Legion Post 122.

Our VFW Post 1349.

Our Patriot Guard riders, who stand ever vigilant in defense of our brothers and sisters.

To all of our veterans & distinguished guests,

Ceremonies such as this one are happening all over our nation this morning.

The call to duty came long before this national holiday. The actual number of fallen patriots will never be known and we continue to have patriots in harm’s way as I am speaking to you today.

We fight not because of the hatred in front of us, but because of the love of what is behind us.

The call of orders for what we know as Memorial Day is actually a reminder of pain, suffering and sacrifices by our heroes so that all can have the freedoms we so richly enjoy today.

Because Memorial Day means so many things to so many different people. To some, it’s about the unofficial beginning of summer, to some it’s about a day off from work, going shopping, going to the beach or golfing or spending time in reflection with our faith, family and friends.

Let us renew our faith and our hope. We have every right to dream heroic dreams because of the pain, the sacrifice and the suffering by our patriots.

I’ve stood here before, talking about our flag and our freedoms, holding a copy of our Constitution…proclaiming that without our Patriots, the Constitution would not be worth the paper it is written on.

That our flag might not be our flag and flying like it is today.

We all know that Our FREEDOMS are not FREE. Our FREEDOMS have been costly.

Thank you, family members who have lost a loved one. Your sacrifice has been dear, but not in vain because---

Our freedom of religion --- we do not owe to the preacher man but to the patriot

Our freedom of the press --- we do not owe to the reporter but to the patriot

Our freedom of speech --- we do not owe to the poet but to the patriot

Our right to vote or safe govern --- we do not owe to the politician but to the many, many patriots that have laid down their lives for God & Country, laid down their lives as a testimony to our American Way of Life.

It’s been said many times before, but bears repeating…Freedom is not free.

We, as a living country, bear responsibilities to honor our living flag in accordance with U.S. Code Title 4, Section 6, which is why the flag is flown today at half-staff until Noon honoring our fallen heroes and then raised to full staff by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

Without this holiday, we would not have any other holidays to celebrate.

The National Moment of Remembrance was passed to ask us to remember and respect. I will, again, remember and respect these heroes during a moment of silence at 3 p.m. today and hope you will, also. Again, I salute our Patriots on this Memorial Day. May God continue to bless our military, our nation and each of us, as He has our community.

Thank you.


Bill Gillespie, Jr.