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September eleventh, now ingrained as nine-eleven in our minds, revealed an unthinkable tragedy and the beginning of modern day war.

Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.

As we take time out of our busy schedules this Memorial Day weekend for barbecues and ball games, let us pause to pay tribute to those who have fought in the defense of our freedoms. Let us remember those who have sacrificed their all.

Mainers have fought in many battles since the Civil War – the Spanish-American, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the two Gulf Wars, and Afghanistan, among others. Thousands of lives have been claimed to the perils of war – 51 brave souls since nine-eleven alone.

They all served with honor, integrity and courage.

I ask you to take this moment of silence with me to remember every Maine Soldier, Sailor, Coast Guardsman, Airman and Marine who has died on the front line or otherwise.

{Moment of silence}

This Memorial Day weekend I extend my thanks to the families of our fallen military men and women. We are forever indebted to your loved ones’ service and sacrifice. It is fitting, that this weekend, Mainers from across our State will remember and honor those who have passed with a powerful statement. Thousands of American flags will be placed by volunteers near each grave at Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemeteries.

The First Lady and I will visit the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Augusta to commemorate our heroes with this unmistakable sea of red, white and blue. The sight is remarkable and will provide you with a sense of just how meaningful Memorial Day really is.

I encourage everyone to take the time to visit one our Veterans' Memorial Cemeteries. We have two in Augusta and one in Caribou and Springvale.

Speaking at the dedication of the Monument to the 20th Maine on October 3, 1889, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Joshua Chamberlain said, "In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear, but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field to ponder and dream.”

It is because of these great sacrifices, we as Mainers, are able to live the American dream. It is because of these selfless sacrifices, we are afforded freedoms that enrich our lives and inspire us to become a better people.

On this Memorial Day, let us not forget the true meaning of freedom and everything our fallen heroes, from the past to present, have sacrificed for us.

God Bless the United States of America.

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