The unofficial start of summer is finally upon us this Memorial Day weekend as we start to see the cautious re-opening of the state with what are now standard social distancing practices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in all of you and you have deservingly earned the title of health care heroes. But please take a moment to step back and remember another group of heroes—the countless number of brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country. And although the events that commemorate Memorial Day will be limited, as we social distance in our backyards with family, their collective memory is ever present in our hearts and souls.
Memorial Day began as a day when flowers and flags were placed on the graves of soldiers who died in the Civil War. One of the reasons the date was chosen was because flowers would be in bloom and could be used to honor those who had died for their country. Since World War I, more than 35 million soldiers have given their lives in the cause of freedom. These brave individuals put country above all else and gave the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our safety, liberty and democracy.
We also pay tribute to the families who lost their loved ones fighting for our country. Memorial Day gives all Americans the opportunity to celebrate while keeping the memory of these brave men and women alive. Additionally, we salute the many members of the Bristol Health family—board members, employees, medical staff, corporators and volunteers—who have served in the armed forces. We are grateful for their service and sacrifice.
Navigating pandemic together has made us stronger and more united than ever before. I wish you and your family a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend. Thank you for all that you do for Bristol Health.