Posted by Michael Lesser on May 24, 2013 11:59:00 AM

More than one million American men and women have given their lives in the service of this country. Memorial Day is the day where we pay our respects to those who have fallen and celebrate their memory.

In thousands of cities and towns across the country, families and friends will attend Memorial Day parades, military gravestones will be decorated with American flags, and the flag of the United States will fly at half-staff until noon. Many of us will also take time to remember loved ones and friends in our own way, remembering so that their sacrifice will always hold meaning. At Thornton Law Firm, we will also take time to remember the hundreds of veterans we have represented over the years, recalling their service and their lives.

It is in the spirit of Memorial Day that we also celebrate “A Day of Hope and Remembrance,” at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on June 1. This annual event, held by the International Mesothelioma Program at the Brigham, takes time to celebrate the lives of those who have fallen to mesothelioma. It is a day of memorial held so that we do not forget. It is also a day that in which we celebrate the hope that further research will one day bring us a cure to this most horrible of diseases. Memorial Day is a day to remember the sacrifices of our soldiers, to celebrate the fight for liberty and justice, and to hope that our remembrance brings a better future for all.

In the words of President Lincoln:

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.