Paying tribute to fallen heroes
As a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, I understand all too well the importance of paying tribute to fallen heroes — some of whom I knew personally. Their sacrifices help guarantee our way of life today, and their memories live on in the hearts and minds of those who honor them.
This year on Memorial Day, I ask you to take a moment to consider how different your life would be if those men and women had not been there to defend the United States and all it stands for. The debt of gratitude we owe them and the families they left behind can never truly be repaid. Instead, we must look to their selfless courage for inspiration as we go about our daily routines enjoying the freedom they defended with their lives.
At Geisinger, we’re committed to supporting our military employees and veteran communities. We recognize the service and sacrifice of all men and women who have served, and the impact their commitment to our country has had on their families and communities. I am proud to say that over 700 veterans are now part of the Geisinger family, dedicating themselves once again to selfless service, making better health easier for everyone.
Over the past few months, as we’ve been battling a different type of enemy, a global pandemic, our frontline healthcare workers have been hailed as heroes — and rightly so. But we can never lose sight of the men and women who died in service to our country. Physical distancing requirements designed to protect us all from the spread of COVID-19 mean that many of our community events celebrating Memorial Day have been canceled, but it’s important to not let the holiday go by without recognizing the sacrifices made by so many in the defense of our great nation.
It’s often been said that “freedom isn’t free,” and every day that truth deserves to be honored.
J. Edward Hartle, M.D., is executive vice president and chief medical officer for Geisinger. He separated from the U.S. Air Force in 1995 after 7 years of service.