Mullen Salutes Servicemembers, Vets at Memorial Day Concert
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 25, 2009 Memorial Day is a time for Americans to “honor all those who have sacrificed and still sacrifice today for our freedom,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a large audience gathered on the U.S. Capitol grounds here yesterday evening for the 20th annual National Memorial Day Concert.
Nellie Bagley, mother of wounded New Hampshire National Guard Staff Sgt Jose Pequeno, embraces Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at National Memorial Day Concert. Washington, D.C., May 24, 2009. Pequeno was severely wounded during a grenade attack in Ramadi, Iraq in 2006. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The nation's top military officer especially saluted warriors who’ve been wounded during the performance of their duty. The admiral cited the bravery and sacrifice of concert attendee New Hampshire National Guardsman Staff Sgt. Jose Pequeno, who’d been severely wounded in Iraq.
Pequeno’s mother, Nellie Bagley, and his sister, Elizabeth, are helping him as he continues his recovery.
America needs “heroes like Jose,” Mullen said, noting it is important for citizens to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices made by servicemembers and their families.
“Let our gratitude carry on to every corner of this land, and every day of the year,” Mullen said of the appreciation of servicemembers’ work and sacrifice on behalf of the nation.
“May God bless our veterans and all our armed forces,” Mullen said.