Remembering the Fallen on Memorial Day

AMA staff and members pause to recognize and remember those who died in service to their country

May 31, 2021

By Joy Burgess

“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

From the beaches of Normandy, to the fields of Vietnam, to the sands of Iraq, to the mountains of Afghanistan, thousands of brave men and women have selflessly laid down their lives in service to our country, and Memorial Day is the day when we pause and remember our American heroes. For all the freedoms we enjoy today — including the freedom we’ve found on two wheels — we owe those who have fought for this country.

“Many Americans have died in defense of our country and Memorial Day is a special time to honor the dedication and sacrifice of those who perished while securing and preserving our freedoms,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman.

As we enjoy the freedoms and privileges we have as Americans, it’s easy to forget the names of those who shed blood to win them. Saying the names of those we love who never came home is just one way we can honor these brave men and women, ensuring their sacrifice is never forgotten.

Many of us know someone personally who lost their life defending freedom — a grandparent, parent, sibling or friend — and we invited our AMA staff and AMA members to say their names and share their stories as we pause and remember on Memorial Day. Here are some of their responses.


Joseph F D’Angelico Fort Edward. NY. RIP BROTHER.

My Uncle, Sgt. Robert (Bobby) Howse U.S.M.C. Two tours in Vietnam.

LeRoy Kucharski. Plane shot down then killed in WWII at the age of 18. My wife’s Uncle that she never got to know.

Army Spc. Phillip Sayles who lost his life in Iraq.

PFC Mykel F. Miller, 19 from Phoenix, Arizona. 1st Battalion, 158th Infantry Regiment, Arizona Army National Guard Phoenix. 09/06/2007 — Fallen Hero.

Bill. Amazing friend and brave soldier. Killed in action in Iraq when an IED blew up. Buried at Arlington, but never forgotten.

Mike Crain — SPC 5 Vietnam. Only survivor of his squad in an ambush. Never got over that. A few years later he died in a car wreck. Hit a wall at high speed. No brakes. We think he committed suicide.

Captain John Forman 1731-1811. Monmouth Co., N.J. Militia.

William Hunter 1740-1804. Wagonmaster Continental Army.

Earl Kannenberg

My Uncle, Navy Chief Garry Braneburg.

Navy SEAL Brian Ouellette, who gave the ultimate sacrifice seventeen years ago in Afghanistan when his Humvee was hit by an explosive.

Nine friends who didn’t make it back from a few of my deployments.

Corporal Kyle Joseph Renehan, Marine Air Control Squadron 2 Cherry Point.

Friends and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts that passed 40+ years after Vietnam from Agent Orange cancers.

John David Slater, SSGT U.S. Air Force. Vietnam. Bronze Star Medal.

Richard Henry Myers, PFC U.S. Marine Corps. Vietnam.