Every year on Memorial Day, we honor and remember America’s fallen heroes – the military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country in uniform. We rededicate ourselves to the common democracy and community for which they gave their lives, so that this nation and its people might live. And we are grateful to those still serving our country overseas to defend our freedoms, often in harm’s way.
This weekend, let us also remember and mourn those heroes who have lost their lives in the fight against Covid-19: the thousands of doctors, nurses, scientists, first responders, public health professionals, and community health workers, as well as National Guard members and military medical teams – women and men, young and old alike – who answered the call of duty and rushed to the frontlines of this battle, knowingly risking their lives in the hopes of saving others. Many succeeded. Too many paid the ultimate price. Indeed, far too many people around the world have been afflicted by this terrible scourge. We mourn every life taken by this deadly virus, including the more than 1,100 American veterans and multiple military service members who have died.
As we pay tribute to fallen heroes past and present, let us also rededicate ourselves to upholding the passion and purpose they so bravely fought for and died for, so that others might live. Let us keep faith with their service, and sacrifice, by renewing our own commitment to serving each other and all of humanity.
To all those serving on the frontlines of this pandemic across the country and around the world, whether in uniform or as civilians – from hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, and community testing sites, to medical labs, pharmacies, grocery stores, and food banks – we at The Rockefeller Foundation are honored to support you, and stand with you. We salute you. And we thank you.