Memorial Day: Remembering our Heroes Published May 15, 2008 By General Howie Chandler Pacific Air Forces Commander HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii On this Memorial Day, we take time remember the men and women who have selflessly given their lives--some more than 200 years ago, some just last week in the Middle East --defending freedom. When called upon to defend the rights and liberties of this Nation, American Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines have responded courageously. For more than 233 years our military has protected our nation. Our world and our armed forces have changed over time, but certain elements of our armed forces remain constant; the selflessness, sacrifice and dedication to duty displayed by men and women in a United States military uniform. From Bunker Hill to the Solomon Islands Campaign and Linebacker II to Iraqi Freedom, the can-do spirit of American service members has been a part of our nation's history. That spirit is alive today as Pacific Forces Airmen defend our nation with courage, honor and dignity in the Pacific and around the world. In the past year, more than 1,200 brave Americans and hundreds of coalition military members have given their lives to foster freedom. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten and their achievements will forever be woven into the history of the United States. Daniel Webster said, "Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, their remembrance will be as lasting as the land they honored." Our thoughts go out to all our great Americans standing freedom's watch, as well as their families. Eva Marie and I wish you and your families a safe Memorial Day.