Chief Roy honors the fallen

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To some Americans, Memorial Day means a three-day weekend which unofficially starts the vacation season and outdoor fun. But, to people associated with the military, this weekend means much more.

Memorial Day represents a specific time to show reverence, gratitude and respect to the men and women who have died fighting in service to the United States.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy spoke to a gathering of about 150 people at the Air Force Memorial May 30 as he read the names of Airmen who gave their lives in combat over the past year.

"These men and women were doing their part for the nation when extraordinary circumstances occurred and they stepped up to become heroes," Chief Roy said.

"These Airmen demonstrated amazing courage, embodying the core value of Service Before Self,' Chief Roy said. "They are representative of the Airmen who served our nation throughout history."

Not only are those who died in combat remembered on this day, the day is used to remember all service members who have served and passed.

"Besides those Airmen lost in combat, I ask you to also pause and remember our other Airmen who have passed on. ... Please keep the families of these brave Airmen in your thoughts and prayers."

"As we come together today to remember our fallen Airmen, I also ask each of you to pause and remember our warriors who are putting their lives on the distant lands, far away from friends and family."