Mike Parks, Regional Chief Executive Officer and U. S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral (Retired) delivered the keynote address at the Memorial Day commemoration for the city of Pepper Pike. In his remarks, Mike noted how Memorial Day and the Red Cross both have their roots in the Civil War, and that the Red Cross continues to provide Service to the Armed Forces. He also wrote the following message to Red Cross workers in the Northeast Ohio Region:
Members of the NEO Red Cross Family: Memorial Day is such a special day when we pay homage to those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might be able to enjoy the freedoms we do each and every day. As many of you know, both Memorial Day and the Red Cross have their origins in the Civil War. The first Memorial Day—then known as Decoration Day—was in 1866 when Civil War soldiers’ graves were adorned with flowers. And of course, Clara Barton’s service providing aid and comfort to soldiers as a nurse during the Civil War inspired her to begin the American Red Cross.
Thank you all for all you do each and every day to help pay it forward and never taking our freedom for granted. Just a reminder, the National Moment of Remembrance Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 2000 to “encourage people of the US to give something back to their country which provides them with so much freedom and opportunity.”
I encourage all of us to join together on this Memorial Day at 3:00 p.m., wherever we may be, whatever we may be doing, to contemplate the cost of our freedoms…the freedom to speak our mind…to live where we’d like…to practice whatever religion we choose…to vote…to travel anywhere in this great…the freedom to be anything we choose to be…the freedom to dream…because we are all Americans and we can come together, to honor those who have given their all—so that we may be free!
I’ll leave you with the inspiring words of singer Lee Greenwood…you know the tune: “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me!”
Have a great day & God Bless the USA! Best regards…Mike