Memorial Day – A Day of Remembrance
This Memorial Day, we remember and honor the more than one million men and women throughout our nation’s history who have made the ultimate sacrifice. From the very founding of our Republic, Americans have volunteered to fight for the principles of justice, liberty, freedom, and democracy around the globe. Whether in battles during World War II, Vietnam, Korea, or more recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, our service men and women have laid down their lives to help keep our nation safe and free.
Originally started as a day to honor soldiers killed during the Civil War, today communities across the United States gather to remember all those who have lost their lives serving in our armed forces. For nearly 150 years, the United States has set aside the last Monday in May to rekindle the history of our great nation, told through the stories of the men and women who have given their lives in service to America.
These are the brave soldiers who charged the beaches at Normandy, who stalked silently through the jungles of Vietnam, and who fought in the mountains of Afghanistan. They placed themselves in the line of fire knowing that they might be the next name on the list of American heroes who have fallen in battle. Their courage and service to our nation must never be forgotten. We owe these brave men and women a debt that can never truly be repaid.
This Memorial Day let us also think of the men and women currently in the Armed Forces, especially those serving on the front lines of the war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. These soldiers are part of a noble tradition dating back over two centuries to the Revolutionary War – modern day warriors who have stood in the arena and fought valiantly against the enemy. As long as new generations of Americans are willing to volunteer to stand up in defense of liberty, then our nation will remain strong and free.
In light of recent news reports of gross mismanagement at President Obama’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we must do more to protect our veterans and their families to ensure they receive the quality health care they deserve for protecting our nation and our freedoms. These reports are unacceptable and embarrassing. I will continue to demand that VA leaders be held accountable for their poor job performance. If you or a loved one is experiencing a problem with VA health care, benefits, or medals that were not received, please contact my office at 509-543-9396.
As we celebrate Memorial Day, take a moment to remember the soldiers who laid down their lives so that we might be free. Remember their sacrifice and the sacrifices of their loved ones left behind. Never forget that the men and women who volunteer to keep us safe from harm may one day be taken from us while defending liberty. The memories of our fallen soldiers are that which we must cherish and honor this Memorial Day.