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Memorial Day 2019: A Message From The VA Secretary


Recently, WXPR interviewed U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilke. Secretary Wilke paused to bring listeners some thoughts about the meaning of Memorial Day... 

"Since the first shots were fired at Lexington, 41 million Americans have put on a uniform. 800,000 have paid the highest price. What(the public) should think about is not the famous, not Eisenhower, Patton or MacArthur or Grant, or even Washington himself. You think about ordinary Americans who were called upon to do extraordinary things like Harry Truman.(Truman) lied to get into the field artillery by memorizing all the eye charts in the opthamologist's handbook because he couldn't bear the thought of his friends and neighbors going off to war without him. Or even Sergeant York who wanted to go running into the hills to escape military service. But when he thought about it, he thought there was a higher duty, of course, becoming the greatest hero of World War I. Or even Audie Murphy who was too short for the Marine Corps, barely got into the Army and was the greatest hero of World War II. Those were ordinary people coming from ordinary walks of life. That's what I would ask people to reflect upon on Memorial Day. Those who carried the cause on their shoulders..."

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilke during an interview with WXPR talking about what the public should remember on Memorial Day.

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