As a veteran-owned business, each year during Memorial Day we always like to encourage others to give thanks to ones we have lost while serving for our country. Unfortunately, many of Americans get confused on the purpose of this day of remembering the soldiers who fell for our freedom, as most think it is a day to thank the troops and veterans still with us.
While serving as a member of the the elite U.S. Army Honor Guard, I had the honor in participating in the burial ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, and I served on the 21 Gun Salute firing party. I will never forget the first time I stepped into that cemetery; it was on the Friday before Memorial Day of 2001. Each year our unit is tasked with putting a small single American flag one boot away from the front of each headstone, as a way to honor the fallen. As I got deeper into the cemetery I was amazed in seeing the over 400,000 white headstones flowing for miles and staring me right in the face. This truly was the first real glimpse that this “know it all” 19 year old got of what the impact of war was and the cost for my freedom. Since that day, and during my tenure with the Honor Guard, I personally participated in laying to rest hundreds of brave soldiers who fought against the war on terror, some of whom were close friends, and gave thanks to them for the ultimate sacrifice they made so I can stand here today.
I know in our busy everyday lives we are lucky to have a moment to stop and breathe, but this Memorial Day please take the time and join our team in remembering those soldiers who have fallen but never will be forgotten. It is for them, their parents, spouses and children, all whom have given an everlasting sacrifice, that we are able to do the things we love each day and to hug our loved ones each night. For that we will always be grateful and will continue to honor your memory!
In memory of Staff Sgt Christopher M. Hake
SSG US ARMY
DATE OF BIRTH: 08/17/1981
DATE OF DEATH: 03/24/2008
BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 8550
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY