Memorial Day lands on May 31st. It is an American holiday honoring those who died while serving in the U.S. military. Initially, the day recognized those who died during the civil war. But it evolved to commemorate those who passed in all wars. It became an official holiday in 1971. Today, Memorial Day marks a day of remembrance for some and the unofficial start of the summer season for others.
For many Cuban families, we honor the American soldiers and the Cuban ones too. On April 17th, 1961, nearly 1,500 men would charge southern Cuba in a failed undercover operation, with shockwaves that echo still, 60 years later. We honor and remember the one hundred men who died and the more than 1,100 captured Who sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom and the United States.
Memorial Day has come to mean vastly different things for many people. For those who have recently lost a loved one, it is a time of grief and sorrow. In contrast, for others, it may serve as a reminder that many before having lost their lives to provide us with the opportunities we now possess.
But for all of us, it can prove that a country once divided can stand as one to honor our fallen heroes. On this Memorial Day, we thank the men and women who put themselves ahead to protect our freedom and those who died for it.
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To veterans of all branches, we thank you for your sacrifice, your bravery, and the example you set for us all.