The Ultimate Sacrifice
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy
Remarks at the Air Force Memorial, Memorial Day, Washington, D.C., May 31, 2010
Maj. Gen. and Mrs. Flowers, Mr. Rouge, Brig. Gen. McMillian, Brig. Gen. Weinstein, Mr. Derrow, Mr. and Mrs. Lauducci, other distinguished guests, family members, and fellow Airmen -- thank you for being here to pay respects to our Airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice. I am honored to be here with you.
The amazing monument that surrounds us represents all Airmen who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom and helped make our nation strong. It is only fitting that we meet here today to pay homage to our fallen Airmen.
From World War I to the Global War on Terror, more than 55,000 brave Airmen have given their lives in the name of freedom. These American men and women were doing their part for the nation when extraordinary circumstances occurred and they stepped up to become heroes.
These Airmen demonstrated amazing courage, embodying the core value of "Service Before Self." They are representative of the Airmen who have served our Service and our nation throughout our history.
At this very hour, Airmen are in harm's way, fighting side by side with joint and coalition partners as we try to win today's wars. As Airmen, we are privileged to defend our great nation. Some have defended our nation by laying down their lives.
Since Memorial Day 2009, those Airmen who have paid the ultimate sacrifice are:
1. Senior Airman Ashton Goodman from Indianapolis, Ind.
2. Lt. Col. Mark Stratton from Foley, Ala.
3. 1st Lt. Joseph Helton from Monroe, Ga.
4. Staff Sgt. Bryan Berky from Melrose, Fla.
5. Tech. Sgt. Anthony Campbell from Florence, Ky.
6. Senior Airman Bradley Smith from Troy, Ill. and
7. Tech. Sgt. Adam Ginett from Knightdale, N.C.
In addition to those combat losses, I ask you to also pause and remember our other teammates who have passed on. Since Jan. 1, 2009, 254 Airmen have died serving this great nation. Please keep the families of these brave Airmen in your thoughts and prayers. Your presence here today honors them.
As we come together today to remember our fallen Airmen, I ask each of you to pause and remember our warriors who are laying their lives on the line. While we are here, they are in distant lands far away from friends and family, taking the fight to our enemy.
Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your continued support of our Air Force. God bless.