Flags tell the story this Memorial Day.
Across our community, American flags are flying in remembrance of military members who gave their lives in service to our country.
Our flag led the patriotic parade in Harker Heights on Saturday and was prominently displayed at a ceremony afterward at City Hall.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of small American flags were placed on the gravesites of our fallen heroes at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery — flags that remain in place for today’s Memorial Day observance, a solemn reminder of our service members’ sacrifice.
Across Central Texas, our nation’s flag flies, reminding us that our nation’s freedom was defended and protected by men and women who willingly gave their lives for its cause.
At the VA hospital in Temple, at the Killeen conference center and at cemeteries and VFW halls across the area, our nation’s flag takes center stage today at ceremonies honoring those who have defended the values it represents and lost their lives in doing so.
In seeing our flag this Memorial Day, we are reminded of those service members who continue to put themselves in harm’s way on behalf of our nation.
Soldiers from Fort Hood are deployed in troubled regions around the world.
More than 4,000 soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are deployed to Kuwait, where they have been sustaining combat operations against the Islamic State, or ISIS, in the region and specifically, Mosul, Iraq, since last winter.
In the past 10 days, the Department of the Army announced the deployment of about 250 soldiers from the III Corps Headquarters to Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
The Department of the Army also announced the upcoming deployment of about 3,500 soldiers from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, to the Republic of Korea.
Our deploying soldiers bring our flag to their temporary homes overseas, and they wear it on the sleeves of their uniforms — a symbol of their duty to our nation, but also a symbol of our nation’s grateful acknowledgement of their service.
In this year, which marks the 100th anniversary of the date America entered the first World War, we should be mindful of all the service members who have fought and died in conflicts across the globe.
Beginning with two World Wars and continuing through conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, our service members have put their lives on the line, with thousands of these American heroes making the ultimate sacrifice.
On this somber holiday, we must stand together as a community in honoring the sacrifices of our fallen service members from every armed conflict.
When we see a flag flying today, we should pause and reflect on the debt we owe all those who have died in defense of our nation.
Because of their service and sacrifice, our flag still flies proudly today.
And that is what Memorial Day is all about.