Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Thoughts by Congresswoman Jean Schmidt

Each Memorial day, we pause in humbled reflection to commemorate the lives of veterans and those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom and democracy. This holiday is a solemn and important day. It is a reminder that we wake up each morning free to pursue our dreams because they were willing to risk that “last full measure of devotion” for our ideals.

There is no better way to honor the memory of fallen soldiers and veterans than to honor those who are currently serving. I have had the privilege of visiting our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. On these trips I have witnessed firsthand the energy and dedication these men and women have to the task at hand. I have left those war zones prouder of our military and our nation. But, I am also reminded that freedom, indeed, is not free. Our troops and their families are sacrificing daily so that we can live in freedom as one nation, safe from the new threats we face today.

For many Americans, Memorial Day marks the start of summer; a time for picnics and barbeques with family and friends, a three day oasis of rest and relaxation. I urge everyone to take some time to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.

On this Memorial Day I ask you to remember the brave men and women still stationed around the world and join me in praying for their safe return. I also ask you to think about all of our veterans who have taken an oath to defend our great country as members of the armed forces.

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our active military and veterans. We must never forget their service.

On this Memorial, let's honor our fallen heroes. Join me in flying your American Flag, applauding our troops at our community parades, or solemnly observing the National Moment of Remembrance at 3pm, to show our appreciation.

We enjoy all that they fought for every day of the year. For all they gave us, to pause and remember is the very least we can do.

Jean Schmidt serves the 2nd Congressional District of the State of Ohio in the US House of Representatives....