Weekly Columns

Honor And Support Our Service Members And Veterans

f t # e
Washington, May 27, 2009 | comments
On Monday our nation paused in remembrance of those who have sacrificed their lives in defense of our free Republic. Following a tradition that begun in 1868, Memorial Day is an important day in our history where we commemorate U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.

Fond mourners and friends set flowers and flags on the graves of the fallen. Our flag was flown at half staff from sunrise until noon, when it was raised high. A bugle sounded Taps, and those gathered pledged allegiance. Today we renew another pledge: to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our heroic dead, and our disabled veterans.

Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. While we stop to pay tribute to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coasties who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation – we cannot help but think of the men and women who are currently deployed and who are in harm’s way.

It is the duty of our nation to honor and support our service members and veterans. The men and women who serve our nation deserve the best equipment, training and support we can give them. Recently in Congress we passed the Supplemental Appropriations bill to fund our military operations. This bill includes necessary funding for military operations, our troops and our security at home.

As we remember our fallen heroes, many of us are filled with emotion – whether it be sadness for a relative who was lost in combat, peace because of the safety our soldiers provide or pride for the sacrifice our veterans made for us in order to ensure our freedom. These men and women are commemorated all over our country at our national cemeteries, memorials and markers. These places are hallowed ground, which is why I introduced a Resolution urging all Americans to visit these markers this Memorial Day and to pay respect to these brave service members. The Resolution passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week by a unanimous vote of 422 to 0.

Not all who serve perish fulfilling their duty. They return to us as veterans and deserve our thanks and a commitment to serve them. As you and your families remember Memorial Day, I encourage all of you to commemorate the U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. Please, also keep our active duty soldiers and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
f t # e