A Memorial Day Message from International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger

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An Army soldier places an American flag in front of a grave at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia as part of a Memorial Day tradition started in 1948. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Army)

Sisters and Brothers,

Memorial Day is a day to remember our fallen service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy.

The IAM has always had a special connection to our military. Many IAM members are veterans. Thousands of us work in the civilian defense sector, supporting the missions of our military men and women. And thousands more work in the aerospace industry, building the finest high-tech equipment our military needs to do their jobs. The Machinists Union is proud of the work we do to help keep our military safe and our country free.

But sometimes, the men and women who serve our country don’t come home. We should remember their sacrifice by doing the best jobs we can at the bargaining table, on the picket line, at the ballot box and in our communities. We have the right to unionize because there are brave men and women who have left their families, put themselves in harm’s way, and in some cases, given their lives to protect our freedoms. We must always remember their service and honor their memory.

On behalf of all IAM members, thanks to our veterans and I wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy holiday weekend.

In solidarity,

R. Thomas Buffenbarger
International President