Thayer observes Memorial Day
In continuance of a long-held Academy tradition, students, faculty, and staff gathered Friday, May 26, for Memorial Chapel. This year, we honored the sacrifice of 33 Thayer alumni who fell while in service to our country.
Head of School, Chris Fortunato:
Good morning friends. We gather together today for this Memorial Day chapel to honor and pay tribute to Thayer graduates who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.
Many of them were close in age to you when they joined the military or went to war. Just like you, they had families; they hung out with their friends right here on this teardrop; they studied, played sports, and performed in the play — right here on this campus. They worried about the big things: going to college, getting a job, falling in love, being successful. They worried about the small things: what they wore, whether they were popular (or not). They laughed and joked, had favorite foods and movies that they watched, books that they read.
And when the call came to serve, whether by their own choice or whether chosen for them, they stepped up so that all of us years and decades later — including right here in this moment — might reap the benefits of their courage. To the Thayer students and graduates — teenagers, adults, brothers, sisters, parents, sons, and daughters — who donned the uniforms of our armed services and lost their lives, whether on the battlefield or through the battles they continually fought after conflict and wars had ended, we look up with reverence, and on Monday will fly our flag at half staff in their memory.
As we go about our day today, I ask us each to carve out at least one moment to consider our gratitude for the soldiers who fought and died for us and for generations to come and to consider our duties and responsibilities because of that. On this day of remembrance, look back not only at our history. Look up right now to the needs of those around us; see one another; stand up for one another; care for one another. Right here and right now, ask not what your country can do for you but for what you — what we — can do for the country, for the world, and for each other. That is how we honor the fallen.
Love of country starts with love for one another. Our most meaningful memorial is not a monument, a holiday, or a ceremony, but it is instead a commitment to being good to one another. And let us recommit to being good to one another so that we can make better this country and this world that so many have fought and died for continually worthy of that sacrifice.