Press Releases

Roe Introduces and House Passes Resolution Recognizing Memorial Day

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Washington, May 19, 2009 | comments
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-1) gave the following statement on the House floor regarding House Resolution 360, sponsored by Roe in recognition of Memorial Day:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Resolution 360, urging all Americans and people of all nationalities to visit the national cemeteries, memorials, and markers this Memorial Day.

"Following a tradition begun in 1868, our nation will pause this Monday in remembrance of those who have sacrificed their lives in defense of our free Republic. Fond mourners and friends will set flowers and flags on the graves of the fallen. Our flag, flown at half staff since sunrise, will at noon be raised high and those gathered will be called to pledge allegiance. A bugle will sound Taps, and we will make another pledge: to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our heroic dead, and our disabled veterans.

"There is no central location for this observance. Our service members’ final resting places are in all our towns and communities. The National Cemetery Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs maintains 128 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico. The Department of the Army maintains Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery.

"Americans have died defending liberty around the globe and have been laid to rest far from home. The American Battle Monuments Commission oversees 24 military cemeteries abroad where 125,000 of our war dead remain.

"The freedoms we enjoy today; the freedoms enjoyed by a civilized Europe, and those free from despots rising to national power are the proof these men and women did not die in vain. This sacrifice should be celebrated, never forgotten.

"Not all who serve perish fulfilling their duty. They return to us as veterans and deserve our thanks and a commitment to serve them. We erect monuments and markers and make pilgrimages there to honor them.

"That is this resolution’s call. Congress should urge Americans to visit these cemeteries, these monuments and memorials. I encourage my colleagues to support this resolution."

Roe’s House Res. 360 passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a majority vote.

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