Commemorating Memorial Day

For many Americans, we are heading into this long weekend to commemorate Memorial Day – a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to the United States. To most of us in health care, the need for our services and care continues, and this may be just another day at work caring for patients across our system. Whether you are working this holiday or spending time with friends and family, let us together remember all those who have given their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy. Never before has the word “freedom” felt more precious than now as we come out of a global pandemic that curtailed many of our personal freedoms in the interest of public health and preserving as many lives as possible.

We must remember the many women and men willing to give their lives in defense of our nation and the freedom we hold dear, but sometimes take for granted. As a reminder of this profound gratitude we all share, our systemwide Veterans Employee Resource Group (ERG) – which is now called the Military, Friends and Family ERG (some members shown left) – held a virtual Memorial Day ceremony last week to honor our fallen heroes. You are invited to watch the video of the ceremony that paid tribute to those in our community who selflessly served. If you would like to get involved with the Military, Friends and Family ERG, please complete this online form.

In closing, we would like to share a line from General George S. Patton’s speech given in Boston in 1945. He said: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” On Monday, whether you are working or enjoying the day off, we ask you to take some extra time, as General Patton suggested, and show your appreciation that such men and women lived. Without their sacrifices, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the freedom that we have today, and that many in this world still do not.

Thank you for keeping all of those who serve our nation in your thoughts and prayers.

With gratitude,

Eric Dickson, MD, President and CEO, UMass Memorial Health
Michael Gustafson, MD, MBA, President, UMass Memorial Medical Center
Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, MCHM, President, UMass Memorial Medical Group
Doug Brown, President, UMass Memorial Community Hospitals, Inc.
Tamara Lundi, President, Community Healthlink
Steve Roach, President, Marlborough Hospital and HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital