Jamie Allard: Memorial Day – Bearing witness to the sacrifice of fallen warriors



It is our most solemn day of the year: Memorial Day, a time to remember those who died while in active military service to our nation. 

This Monday is for the fallen warriors. It is for laying a wreath, playing “Taps,” and asking God to protect our nation. Flags come down to half staff. Tears are wiped away. Tombstones are brushed off and flowers are carefully placed.

For veterans, it’s an especially meaningful day. This day is not for us, for we served and lived. It is the day for our comrades who served and died. Some of the fallen were known to us as friends or fellow riflemen, some were parents or siblings blown apart in the prime of their lives. In our home, we honor the fallen as though they are our brothers and sisters.

The most poetically expressive words about the profound losses felt in war were written by Canadian physician John McCrea in World War I. I share it with you, as we keep covenant with our buried or missing American warriors:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

    That mark our place; and in the sky

    The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

    The torch; be yours to hold it high.

    If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

        In Flanders fields.

During this weekend, our family is also reminded of the Ranger Creed, which every Ranger has memorized. While not as poetic as McCrea’s words, the Ranger Creed is something we can live by, even for those of us not part of our nation’s fighting force. It tells us how to be our best:

Ranger Creed

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers.

Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite Soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other Soldier.

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some.

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained Soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.

Rangers lead the way!

Finally, as you observe this Memorial Day, it’s always awkward to say “Happy Memorial Day.” It does not seem to fit. And yet those men and women who “Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved,” would actually wish that for every one of us Americans. They wanted the best for their fellow countrymen, and they understood that America is truly exceptional and worth fighting and dying for.

It is our happiness, freedom, and human rights that they fought for, and therefore, we owe it to them to not only recognize their sacrifice, but to not squander that incredible gift they left us.

Jamie Allard is the Anchorage Assemblywoman representing Chugiak / Eagle River.


  1. Well said! Thank you to all who serve! And to the fallen, the greatest of debts I owe for the Freedom that is never without cost.

  2. Departed family and friends … there’s still remnants of their faces and voices in my heart, and my soul, that haven’t been over-written.

  3. Thank you for this. And thank you for yours, your husband and family’s service in defense of our nation.


  4. Thank you for expressing our heartfelt sentiments!
    We owe those fallen defenders of our country a debt that can never be paid.
    The least we can do is remember their ultimate sacrifice with profound gratitude!

  5. Time to return our boys back into Mandatory Military service at 18 if they arent attending college. That’ll make the 18 year old boys pull up their pants! Hahaha.

  6. Fly your USA flag today for those who gave everything they had or would have ever had “outside the wire”.

  7. Thank you Jamie, a heart felt collage of appropriate feelings and thankfulness for those that have gone before us in preservation of our fragile liberty!

  8. Very nice, Jamie, and so thoughtful!

    Was at the ANC Park Strip ceremony this AM, I thought Senator Sullivan’s Memorial Day address was indeed superb … and the applause Mayor-elect Bronson received was impressive!

  9. Democrats Want to Rewrite VA Motto to Remove Language from Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Lincoln Memorial

    The current VA motto is:

    To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.

    The motto is based on a specific quote from Lincoln’s Second Inaugural
    Several Democrats — and even a handful of Republicans — are supporting legislation to rewrite the VA’s motto to remove the pronouns “him” and “his,” ostensibly to be “inclusive of women and LGBTQ veterans.”

    Legislation to rewrite Lincoln’s words in the VA’s motto is co-sponsored by Republican politicians, including Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

  10. To have served is an honor- To have served with those who sacrificed the ultimate cost for our nation…words cannot fulfill the deep gratitude.
    God Bless my brothers and sisters and God Bless America!

  11. Marlin Savage:
    Rewriting history. A word here and another word there, until there’s nothing left of the original. A time tested tactic right out of the Marxist playbook.

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