Throughout our nation we rightfully pause today and remember those who died in our defense. I was honored and humbled to speak at observances today and ask that this Memorial Day, you join me in remembrance.
Today we remember…
The thousands of people from Westmoreland County who lost their lives in defense of our nation;
The soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who died in service from our Founding through the battles of today;
The families who sent generations to serve us in conflict; and
We remember the freedom they protected.
We remember those who died in wars on the plains of Europe, the jungles of Southeast Asia, the sands of the Middle East, and other far off places; and
Those who died in defense of our country right here at home and during those supposed times of peace.
We remember the spouses – the widows and the widowers – who fought their own brave battles at home, alone.
We remember all those children who lost their parents.
By comparison, our calling is very simple. We honor their efforts not just today, but we can honor and remember their efforts year-round every day…
By doing the little things – giving up your seat to a disabled veteran, showing the proper respect during our national anthem;
By always being respectful and sympathetic to family members and comrades who quietly grieve everyday out of sight; and
By donating our time, talents and treasures to veterans’ organizations.
Perhaps most importantly, we honor them by being active participants in our Democratic Republic that they fought to preserve…volunteering, voting, knowing the issues and your elected officials – and holding us accountable.
Today we remember not just the fallen, but also all those brave citizens who make up our all-volunteer military. No one is forced to join. And the special people who answer that call do so knowing full-well that we may gather one day to remember their sacrifice. We will not forget them. And we will not forget the fallen we honor today.