Remembering ‘The Gift They Have Given to Us All’

A crowd gathered this morning in the courthouse square for Leesburg’s annual Memorial Day Observance where Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford urged them to never forget the sacrifices of those who have died in military service to the nation.

“This day, like no other holiday reminds us of who we are as a nation and what we stand for as Americans,” said Crawford, a Leesburg-area resident who retired from the Army after 34 years of service.

He recalled his “brush with mortality” while serving with the 82nd Airbourne Division in Fallujah, Iraq in December, 2003—when he questioned what would happen if he did not return. The thoughts included: What would become of his family, how would the nation recognize his service, would his service be in vain, what would be the fate of the paratroopers under his command—and what advice would he have for those left behind. That would be to never forget, he said. 

“Today we reflect on those who never left the battlefield for their service and sacrifice. And we live in gratitude each and every day for the precious gift that they have given to us all,” Crawford said.

He noted the paradox of military service. “They are ordered to rise before the sun so that we can watch the sunset. They are ordered to stand at attention so that we can sit whereever we want. They are ordered to charge the hill so that we can build a house on one,” Crawford said. “They are ordered to fight to uphold democracy around the world so that our sons and daughters can live freely anywhere in the world.”

“There is no greater honor than to give honor to those who have fallen. The patriots we memorialize here today gave their last full measure of devotion not so we might mourn them—though we do—not so that our nation may honor their sacrifice—although it does. They gave their lives so that we might live ours. Everything that we hold precious in this country was made possible by Americans who gave their all. And because of them, our nation is stronger, safer and will always remain a beacon of hope and a beacon of freedom around the world,” Crawford said.

The program also featured remarks by Mayor Kelly Burk and U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton and the laying of wreaths at the war memorials in courthouse square. 

3 thoughts on “Remembering ‘The Gift They Have Given to Us All’

  • 2022-05-30 at 2:08 pm
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    If Rep. Jennifer Wexton is interested in honoring those who have given their all in sacrifice to the country, she will immediately replace the POW/MIA flag she removed from in front of her office entrance in order to make room for a Rainbow flag on her first day in office. What a clueless, insultingly outrageous gesture!

  • 2022-05-30 at 2:49 pm
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    Leesburg honored our fallen heroes in a beautiful manner. The ceremony was very diverse. Mayor Burk looked dashing in her red, white & blue outfit. I loved Rep. Wexton’s tribute to Ukraine. And her quote from JFK was very inspiring. Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous. I hope our fallen heroes were looking down, smiling. Welcome to the Summer Season Loudoun!

  • 2022-05-31 at 4:28 pm
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    A very nice and appropriate ceremony that was well attended. It was good to see so many varied groups there. LTG Crawford was an excellent keynote speaker. He hit all the right points for this occasion. I especially liked his description of what he felt in Iraq and his concern for soldiers. Thanks to all who developed and executed this proper tribute to the Fallen. Anthony V. Fasolo, LTC, USA (ret)

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