COMPACAF delivers Memorial Day message Published May 25, 2011 By Gen. Gary North and CMSgt Brooke McLean Pacific Air Forces Commander and Command Chief Master Sergeant JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- On May 30, 2011, our Memorial Day, we will honor our service members who have paid the ultimate price in the full spectrum of military operations in the defense of our great Nation. We honor the legacy of those who have served and given their all, and certainly inclusive in this long line are our PACAF Airmen and their sacrifices during regional and global operations. We should always remember our Airmen...both officer and enlisted who fought the battles in the air and on the ground, many who never returned, giving their lives in the performance of their sworn duty. Our Airmen were keenly aware of the dangers but courageously continued out of sheer devotion to their ideals, their fellow comrades and ultimately for all of us who follow in their service. We also remember and honor our Airmen from today's generation of heroes who lost their lives supporting current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This year we lost five PACAF Airmen. Maj. David L. Brodeur, Tech. Sgt Leslie Williams, Airman 1st Class Christoffer Johnson, Airman 1st Class Corey Owens and Senior Airman Michael Hinkle join a long list that we remember today as we honor all on Memorial Day. These heroes' selfless sacrifice does not go unnoticed by our Nation or by those that they have protected. Our Nation is appreciative of the hard work being performed by our talented PACAF Airmen as a key part of our joint military team, not only our AOR, but throughout the world. As well, we honor and respect the families of our fallen and share in their sacrifice; they will always be a part of our greater Air Force family. We are proud of how PACAF's Airmen serve every day. One example is their response to the devastating 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami and nuclear events in Japan. During Operation Tomodachi, over 800 aircraft sorties and more than 6 million pounds of relief supplies were flown in and distributed to the hardest hit areas. Our Airmen and sister Services joined to clear debris and open Sendai Airport five days after being swallowed by a tsunami, along with all the other superb humanitarian efforts, such as maintaining and supporting main base operational efforts. So as we remember our fallen this Memorial Day weekend, we ask you to take some time to reflect on their sacrifices with friends and loved ones. The best way to honor them is to keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and realize we enjoy America's freedoms because of their sacrifice. Have a peaceful Memorial Day and keep yourself, your family and your great extended Air Force family safe. May the sacrifices of our Airmen, ordinary people who displayed extraordinary valor, through their selfless service, never be forgotten! Happy Memorial Day!