MIKE BROWN: Our American duty
Memorial Day it is our opportunity to honor those who have fallen in defense of our country and its ideals. More than opportunity, though; it is our duty to honor them. Our American duty. As this speech formed, one thing that became clear to me w...
Memorial Day it is our opportunity to honor those who have fallen in defense of our country and its ideals.
More than opportunity, though; it is our duty to honor them. Our American duty.
As this speech formed, one thing that became clear to me was that this day - what it stands for, why we are here, and why all citizens should be here in spirit if not in person - is about duty.
The fallen had a duty they accepted for our country. Willingly and even enthusiastically, women and men throughout the history our great nation have stood to defend her.
And it was within that noble and staunch sense of duty that so many fell.
Duty. Responsibility. Obligation. Burden. Calling.
I first learned duty from my parents.
My father, a jet mechanic for the Air Force who was stationed around the world, certainly gave me a sense of duty. Not just to the United States and its Air Force, but to doing a job and understanding that jobs had to get done.
My mother, as my protector and provider and as the steel support for my father, also bouncing family all around the world, gave me another sense of duty.
When I joined the Air Force and served as a launch control officer and doctor, my sense of personal duty become even richer.
Now, as a mayor and practicing physician, I have learned even further shades of duty. Of responsibility. Of obligation.
And as I have aged, perhaps because I have aged, the sense of duty to remember and honor and respect those on whose shoulders I stand has become stronger.
At the same time, my appreciation for those who show up on a Memorial Day morning grows.
I know there are lawns to be mowed or propane tanks to fill for the barbeque later on. I know it is a good day, perhaps the first one in months, to sleep in.
But you haven’t done that. You are here, I submit, because of your own sense of duty.
To those you have lost. To family members and friends of those who have lost their loved ones. And to the idea of service and of country.
Thank you for fulfilling your duty to be here.
We may never give so much as those whom we remember today. But we can serve. We can honor. We can help others to never forget the sacrifices. And we can share the sense of duty for which they died and upon which America stands tall.
I think they would appreciate that.
Brown is mayor of Grand Forks.
‘We can share the sense of duty’
GRAND FORKS - The American Legion Truemann Webb-Phelps Post 6 and Unit 6 Auxiliary wish to say thank you to Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown, conductor Don Langlie and the members of the Grand Forks City Band, the Grand Forks Air Force Base rifle squad and all those who put flags on each veteran’s grave, Emerado Ascension Church, participating legionnaires and auxiliary members and especially all veterans, family and friends who attended the ceremony at Memorial Park Cemetery this past Memorial Day.
Unfortunately for those in attendance, the sound system cut out just as Brown was about to make his speech. So, for those who wanted to hear the mayor (but couldn’t) and the many other Herald readers who may be interested, below is an abridged version of Brown’s Memorial Day speech.
Thanks to all once again.
Kime is a past post and state commander of The American Legion.