Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message Published May 22, 2015 By Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance of the more than one million Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who gave their lives to secure our freedoms. American flags will be lowered to half-staff in town squares, on military bases, private homes, and American government facilities around the world in everlasting tribute to those who gave their all in our Nation’s defense. This year is particularly poignant as it marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. With each passing day, the memories of war, the faces of the fallen, and the stories of heroism in battle fade as the surviving members of the Greatest Generation become fewer. Their spirit of sacrifice and devotion to duty, however, remain steadfast. America’s debt to its brave servicemen and women is one that can only be repaid by continuing their legacy of patriotism and valor. To the families of all who have served and who serve today, we offer our humble gratitude on behalf of a grateful nation. At noon on Memorial Day, flags will once again be raised to full staff – a symbol of the resilience of America and those who serve her even today in countless areas around the globe. To those who are currently defending our Nation, we say “thank you!” We are privileged to stand with you in service to the United States of America.