By Dennis R. Pierce
BLET National President
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, May 27 — Each year on Memorial Day, we pause to honor and pay tribute to the men and women who have given their lives serving in our military and to honor them for defending our country and our way of life.
Our nation has done so each year since the holiday was first recognized in 1868, and was then called Decoration Day. Its history began a few years prior, as people in the early 1860s decorated the graves of their loved ones who had died serving in our nation’s armed forces.
Many members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have given their lives bravely serving in the military, and they deserve our gratitude for making the ultimate sacrifice. We are proud that our Brotherhood is the oldest labor union in the Western Hemisphere, and we have represented military veterans since our founding on May 8, 1863. Since that time, our Brotherhood has fought tirelessly to ensure good union jobs and safe working conditions for our veterans and for all BLET members.
In 2000, Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance. Each year at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Memorial Day, all Americans around the world are asked to pause and remember our heroes in the Armed Forces as well as others who have died in military service to this nation. I ask all active and retired members of the BLET and the BLET Auxiliary to join me in this act of unity and pause for a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time onMonday, May 30, 2016.
On this holiday, I ask all BLET members and their families to join me in remembering what this day is all about. On Monday and every day, celebrate the freedom that we enjoy in this country and remember those brave men and women who have died serving our nation. These men and women fought and died defending and spreading the freedom that we hold dear. They deserve to be remembered and memorialized all year, but especially on the day that has been set aside for this purpose — Memorial Day.