To Our Customers, Employees, Family and Friends,

Memorial Day is traditionally the unofficial start of summer, and a day where we reflect on the sacrifices of all those who gave their lives so that we could remain free.  We usually have a parade, a ceremony at the cemetery, and a ceremony honoring our fallen heroes at the various memorial sites within the cities and towns where we live.  As a former elected official, I have had the honor of having a front row seat to see the eyes of our living veteran’s, the gold star parents and the families of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our country.  Those eyes all tell a story without having to utter any words about what they saw, what they did and what they remember.  Many times on this day, I would wander into our city hall to see the pictures and the wall plaques with the many names of those who died in battle many years ago and imagine who they were, what their lives were like and how brave they must have been to put their life up so that others could live.  In these moments I would typically give thanks to all of them silently in my heart for what they did.  They never knew me, but I feel like in my mind I know them now because I know what they did and the price they paid.  Street names in the city, school names and memorial signs on the corners all have new meaning when you know that they are named after a hero.

This year more than any, with the impact of the pandemic, we realize just how precious our freedom is and how much more the sacrifice of others really means to allow us to maintain those freedoms.  Unfortunately, this year as well, we will not be gathering as a group to remember those who gave so much.  There will not be any parades or ceremonies or summer kickoff celebrations but there is one thing we all can do – remember.  As we start this Memorial Day weekend, let us take some time to remember and reflect on our past and present heroes.  Find a quiet time and socially distance to individually visit the cemetery, our many memorials or just to say a prayer of thanks to those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Collectively we will not gather this year, but we will in the future and let us never forget why this day is so special.

Thank you all, stay healthy, stay safe and enjoy this Memorial Day weekend in your own special way.

David Gravel, CEO of GraVoc

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