Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Heather Seelbach
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chablis Torrence

To many Americans, Memorial Day means a day off to spend with family and friends while reflecting on the fallen heroes of our country.

For Sailors out to sea, Memorial Day is more poignant. Unable to share this holiday with family or friends, and without the luxury of a day off, the only aspect of this holiday that retains meaning is reflection.

“I consider Memorial Day a time to be grateful for my life and my freedom, and to be thankful to the people who gave their lives for our country,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Justin Johnson.

This holiday takes on special significance to many Sailors as they remember friends, loved ones and fellow service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, to honor those who served before us and made our country what it is today,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Oscar Vera.

Originally established as a day to honor those who died while defending our country’s freedom, Memorial Day has taken on various meanings for many Americans over time, and the spirit of the holiday thrives in the hearts of the men and women who serve our country.

“Memorial Day is a time to remind us all about why we volunteered to join the Navy,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Sean Walsh. “It reminds me of the daily sacrifices made by those who serve as well as their families. I am honored to continue my service to my country and will never forget why I joined.”