Retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata told Newsmax on Saturday that the Memorial Day holiday is a time for "reflection" and remembering the "sacrifice" of veterans who fought to keep the country free.
"Certainly, this is always a solemn weekend for me and everybody I know that served," Tata said during "Saturday Agenda." "And for me personally, I lost friends, proteges in combat."
He said he lost several comrades in arms in Afghanistan and Iraq during combat in those countries, and now thinks about them during the holiday and prays for their souls.
"I think about all of them — the service that these men and several women that I served with [who] gave and lost their lives," he said. "But this is all about remembering the men and women that sacrificed so everybody could live freely. And they put it on the line, and they understood that they were doing that."
Tata, who is also author of the novel "Total Empire," said he gives part of the book's proceeds to the USO Hospital Services Fund, which takes care of wounded veterans. He dedicated his latest book to several of his friends who were killed in action.
"We lost 87 men and women in combat when I was the deputy commander general in Afghanistan," he said. "And I think it's important for us to remember, which is why I'm so glad that you're doing this segment, because our country is kind of losing its grip on the importance of service, the importance of our national defense, and we're really losing focus here."
Political analyst Mark Halpern, who was also on the broadcast, said while the three-day holiday is "fun" and begins the summer season, it is important to remember the sacrifices made by our veterans.
"I took my first trip to Pearl Harbor a few weeks ago and was struck by the sacrifice there," Halpern said. "It's important to take the time to remember their sacrifice and to understand that is what built this country."
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