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Gov. Tom Wolf urges Pennsylvanians to demonstrate gratitude, reflect on those who made ultimate sacrifice

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The fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have been courageously protected by millions of Americans willing to give their lives so that others may be free.

On the 148th observance of Memorial Day – once known as Decoration Day – we ask that Americans pause to give thanks for the brave men and women who died to preserve our freedom.

More than 70,000 Americans from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have given the last full measure of devotion for this country since it first proclaimed itself an independent nation in 1776.

Many of these patriots are interred with comrades in hallowed memorial grounds in America, Europe, and the Pacific. They lie in simple country plots, urban memorial parks, unmarked graves, and among friends and family.

On Memorial Day, and every day, we thank them for their sacrifice and acknowledge our eternal debt to them. We pray that the devotion to patriotism and citizenship they displayed through service to this country will never be forgotten. Through their deeds, we have learned to appreciate the freedoms that are the legacy of their sacrifice.

A new generation of men and women in uniform have faced, and continue to face, their own “great task remaining before us,” on the city streets and desert sands of Iraq and in the mountains of Afghanistan. The proud contingent who today wears America’s uniform is tied to all other veterans by the same ethic of service in the name of freedom.

Today we gather to demonstrate our unity, remember our losses, and ask that all citizens of the commonwealth recognize our unwavering commitment to a future filled with opportunity, justice, and hope for all people.

Today, I urge all Pennsylvanians to join with others across the United States to demonstrate our gratitude as we reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom.

Source: Office of Gov. Tom Wolf