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Different kind of Memorial Day

By Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities

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To Soldiers, Airmen, Civilian Employees and Families of the NHNG,

While this Memorial Day looks much different from those in the past, we still come together and remember those who gave their lives to preserve our freedoms that we so dearly cherish.

At the moment, more than 650 NH National Guardsmen are working tirelessly across our great state to save lives and alleviate human suffering in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let this not detract from today’s solemn occasion, but rather deepen our understanding and appreciation for those who serve and are willing to do so knowing it could be at a high cost. Our profession is a true calling. It’s not for everybody, but thankfully, in each generation, there are young men and women who answer the call.

More than a million lives have been lost since the Revolutionary War. New Hampshire's Honor Roll of Fallen spans back to the state's founding and since 9/11, 43 more servicemen have been added. They were soldiers, airmen and Marines. Four were NH Army Guardsmen: Sgt. Jeremiah Holmes, Spc. Alan Burgess, Sgt. David Stelmat and Cpl. Scott Dimond.

Because of the pandemic, this year's Memorial Day ceremony at the NH State Veterans Cemetery has been canceled. In its place, the Department of Military Affairs and Veterans Services in coordination with the NH VFW and NH VFW Auxiliary created a Memorial Day video tribute. A wreath-laying ceremony and speeches were filmed earlier this month. The video will be posted on social media throughout Memorial Day weekend and the following week. In addition, the NH State Veterans Cemetery remains open during daylight hours, seven days a week. Between May 20-31, guests may leave potted plants at gravesites.

Enjoy time with family and friends. Take stock of your accomplishments. Be safe and remember the unrelenting perseverance of those who fought and died before us.

Sincerely,

Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities
Adjutant General
New Hampshire National Guard