Memorial Day marks beginning of Critical Days of Summer

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, GERMANY -- Memorial Day is a day to remember our fellow Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us and an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

Take this time to honor those who gave their lives to defend our freedoms and those that continue to do so today. Whether you observe this Memorial Day visiting cemeteries and memorial events or use the extended weekend to travel or spend time with family and friends, join us in actively managing risk and staying safe while on and off duty.

This year's Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the "Critical Days of Summer" safety campaign and traditionally where each of us begins to increase travel and outdoor activities.

The Air Force has lost 218 Airmen in accidents during the last 10 summers -- 26 losses in USAFE -- largely due to poor risk management, speed and alcohol. This year's "Critical Days of Summer" safety campaign stresses "Safety - It's Personal."

It is a personal responsibility to comply with and enforce standards, to intervene when a friend is behaving badly, and to consider the impact of your actions on those you love. During this period, no one wants to endure the unnecessary loss of another Airman to a preventable mishap.

Before the Memorial Day weekend begins, leaders at all levels must lead discussions with each of their Airmen concerning safety, risk management and mishap prevention. Express personal concern for their safety and offer mitigating measures focused on managing risks associated with their work and leisure activities.

Use every tool at your disposal to help prevent another mishap this summer. Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and the summer months ahead, be a good wingman and continue to make safety a personal matter.