For many, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It’s a weekend of family events — often associated with the opening of pools, trips down the shore, and picnics.
But it’s so much more than that.
For well over a century, we have set aside this day to pay tribute to the patriots who have devoted their lives to the country we love. As we enjoy this long weekend with family and friends, I hope you’ll remember the bravery of those who gave their lives to protect our freedom.
As President John F. Kennedy once said, “the cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it.”
From the battles of the Revolution that were fought in New Jersey to the shores of Normandy to the global fight against terrorism and all the conflicts in between, American servicemen and women have courageously given their lives to the cause of liberty and justice for all.
No matter where or when their service and sacrifice took place, the bravery of those who laid down their lives to fight for democracy is a debt we can never fully repay.
But we can honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Memorial Day is a reminder to keep their memory alive by reflecting and remembering these heroes every day, as freedom is never free.
Whether you spend today honoring a loved one who has served, hosting a barbecue, or relaxing down the shore, let’s pay tribute to all of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we can live freely.
Phil Murphy is a former U.S. Ambassador to Germany and a 2017 Democratic candidate for governor.