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NEWS | May 17, 2018

Memorial Day: A time to remember and honor

By Linda Koenig 502nd Air Base Wing Safety Office

Established by Congress in 1971 as an official federal holiday, Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America.

This late May holiday is more than just the unofficial start of summer. It is a time to honor those who gave their lives to protect and serve our country, so your Joint Base San Antonio family asks you to show your honor and respect for our fallen brothers and sisters as you kick off this unofficial start of summer.

“A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what is expect to be a very busy summer travel season starting with a Memorial Day getaway,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president for AAA Travel and Publishing. “As such, we must carefully create a trip plan as we travel this holiday weekend.”

Amidst the barbecuing, summer movie outings, visiting the beach or river tubing, or just plain relaxing, we ask that as you travel to all of your destinations, remember to manage your risks and remain safety vigilant.  

Pay attention to your safety gear, equipment and activities such as flotation devices, motorcycles, seatbelts, car seats, boating and yes, even your barbeque pit which has been sitting just waiting for you to grill some steaks.

If you’re going to drink, do not drink and drive. Arrange for alternate travel or have a designated driver. If you operate a motorcycle and you are military, you must be properly licensed and wear all required personal protective equipment, or PPE, on or off the installation as required by Department of Defense Instruction 6055.4.

Many will be traveling this weekend with the same joy and travel plans as you and I; so, watch out for them and for your own family. 

According to the AAA travel club, more than 41.5 million people will travel during Memorial Day weekend, which is 4.8 perecent more than last year.  It is expected to be the most-traveled holiday since 2005, which runs from May 24 through May 28, with Thursday and Friday expected to be the busiest days.

Travel modes will vary, so be vigilant, well rested and plan accordingly for highway road closures or conditions.  With 2 million more people traveling this year, travel delays could triple along major roads. 

Be responsible, make good risk decisions and you can prevent tragedies from occurring during your break in the action. 

The 502nd Air Base Wing Safety staff challenges each of you to make “Your Personal Safety” a top priority during this long weekend but also, to take full advantage of this weekend to relax, reconnect with family and create enjoyable memories for you, your family and friends.  Enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday weekend as we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving this great nation.