In his keynote address for this year’s Memorial Day program, which was broadcast Monday on KMRS, Staff Sergeant Luke Butterfass of the National Guard said that while there are well over a million soldiers who gave their lives for the country, the numbers are not who we mourn on Memorial Day.

“The numbers don’t tell you about the farmer who planted his crops in the family farm but was unable to return for the harvest because he’d given his life for combat,” said Butterfass. “The numbers don’t tell you about the sailor performing maintenance on the deck of the ship when the bombers came over and he was never able to return home to turn wrenches on his own hot rod in his garage. The numbers don’t tell you about the cook whose life was cut short when the chow hall he was working in was targeted by enemy fire and now he’ll never pull burgers off the grill at home for his wife and kids again.”

Butterfass said we can honor the memories of those soldiers by creating loving homes and strong communities, something those soldiers didn’t get the chance to fully accomplish when their lives were cut short. The Memorial Day program can be found on our website at


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