The true meaning of Memorial Day often gets lost to pool parties, beach trips, and backyard barbeques. But Memorial Day is in fact a day of remembrance. A day to honor the sacrifices made by the men and women who have died in service to the United States military.

As we watch our allies in Ukraine battle to save their democracy, it reminds me of something former Secretary of State Madeline Albright once said, “while democracy in the long run is the most stable form of government, in the short run, it is among the most fragile.”

Democracy is precious and freedom is precarious. The men and women of our military fight every day to preserve the American way of life. Their sacrifices deserve our honor and respect every day. But on this day, it is most important that we remember the fallen soldiers. That we honor their sacrifices and strive to build an America that our service members can be proud to represent.

Within the labor movement, we have the opportunity to contribute to a better America every day by organizing, supporting, and representing each other. The labor movement, in particular those represented within the Metal Trades, are the bulwark of democracy and the stronger we are, the stronger America is. The Metal Trades and its partners and allies will always defend democracy, your rights at work, and your freedom in society.

On behalf of the Metal Trades Department staff, executive council, and members, I wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. I invite you to take time to remember those who lost their lives so that we are free to live ours. I hope you all stay safe and healthy. God bless you. God bless our fallen soldiers and God bless America.