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For many, Memorial Day traditionally marks the unofficial start to the summer season, but it is an important opportunity for reflection of the men and women who have died in service to our country.  Decoration Day, as Memorial Day was originally known, originated in the years following the Civil War and it became an official federal holiday in 1971. We could not be more grateful for the service and sacrifice of those who fought to secure and maintain our freedom over the years, but it is especially poignant as we reflect on those sacrifices in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we begin the holiday weekend, it is with a heavy heart for those who have lost their battle to COVID-19, but with such tremendous gratitude for the work that you and your clinicians are doing on the front lines to care for the patients and communities who need you now more than ever before.  Hospitals are a beacon of hope, health and healing in their communities during one of the most challenging public health crises many of us have ever experienced in our lives.  It is with a great spirit of hope and optimism from all of us at the New Hampshire Hospital Association and the Foundation for Healthy Communities that we wish you a safe, healthy and happy Memorial Day.


Steve Ahnen is president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association