This Memorial Day Remember to Honor Fallen Soldiers

The last weekend in May marks the start of summer, but it's really a day to remind the U.S. citizenry of the sacrifices of the men and women who died in war.

On this Memorial Day, Mountain View remembers its fallen soldiers, including 1st Lieutenant Kenneth Ballard.

Ballard, a graduate of , served under the 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, 1 Brigade and 1st Armored Division. He fought during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was killed in action on May 30, 2004 in Najaf, Iraq. He was 26.

Recently, the Mountain View City Council .

Originally called Decoration Day because the graves of the Civil War dead were decorated with spring flowers, observation of Memorial Day began in 1866. However, not until 1971 was Memorial Day declared a national holiday by an act of Congress.

Moffett Field's location in Mountain View has irrevocably linked the city to U.S. military history. Throughout the years—1931 to 1994—that Moffett Field was managed by the U.S. Army and then the Navy, the federal agencies participated in the war efforts and its service members lived in and around Mountain View. Even now, Moffett Field hosts the California Air National Guard and members of the U.S. Army Reserve.

In observation Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) stated, "this Memorial Day we remember generations of Americans who have fought to keep our nation what it is today—a beacon of freedom and liberty to the world."

"We must honor our troops each and every day by fulfilling our promises to them, just as they fulfilled their promise to us and our nation," she said. "Their legacy is our freedom."

As is tradition, the president and first lady Michelle Obama will spend this Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery and will mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

"This month, we’ll begin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, a time when, to our shame, our veterans did not always receive the respect and the thanks they deserved -- a mistake that must never be repeated,” the president said on May 16.

Lt. Ballard is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


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