Memorial Day 2023

TO: The Gonzaga University Community
FROM: Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
SUBJ: Memorial Day 2023
DATE: May 26, 2023

This weekend our nation will observe Memorial Day – a day set aside to remember and honor those who have died serving in the armed forces of our country. It is a commemoration with deep roots in our nation’s history; in 1868, General John A. Logan declared May 30th “Decoration Day,” a day to remember comrades who died defending their country, and in 1971, in the waning years of the Vietnam War, the United States Congress declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Throughout America’s existence, there have been numerous wars and conflicts in which members of the military have been called to serve; many of these involved perilous missions under dangerous situations. National and international cemeteries such as Arlington, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, or the Normandy American Cemetery are perpetual testimonies to the thousands of servicemembers who sacrificed their lives in service to our country. Our Gonzaga University community has suffered the loss of numerous students and alumni across the years. And our grief at wartime deaths is not reserved only for Americans; we grieve the loss of life in the many wars and conflicts that rage around the world.

On this Memorial Day, may we remember those that have gone before us in service to our country, and to all of those that mourn their loss. May our prayers be with all of them, and as an homage to their sacrifices, may we continue to find pathways that lead to a just and lasting peace.