This Memorial Day it is my honor to pay tribute to those Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and preserve this great democracy. These brave men and women fought valiantly so their fellow Americans can enjoy the freedoms and liberty we so dearly cherish. It’s too easy to get caught up in the rush of our daily lives and overlook their constant vigilance and supreme sacrifice – across the entire globe.
“This Memorial Day it is my honor to pay tribute to those Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and preserve this great democracy. These brave men and women fought valiantly so their fellow Americans can enjoy the freedoms and liberty we so dearly cherish. It’s too easy to get caught up in the rush of our daily lives and overlook their constant vigilance and supreme sacrifice – across the entire globe.
They fought fascism, tyranny and oppression, forces that still rear their ugly head today. They sacrificed their lives so you and I can enjoy so many freedoms that, frankly, we all too often take for granted.
They did not come home to their families, friends, and communities. We must never, ever, forget their sacrifices. Every generation has fought to preserve our freedom and defend our ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and every generation has lost young servicewomen and men in that effort. This one will be no different.
So, on Memorial Day, we pause to honor the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many. We honor them by remembering, and we honor them by vowing never to forget, that, through their sacrifice, our democracy lives on.
This critical remembrance is too often underappreciated in so-called normal times, but amid this challenging moment we’re living through, that sacrifice can be even more easily overlooked or underappreciated.
This COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a century event that has dramatically changed our lives in the last couple of months. Tens of thousands of American lives have been lost since this coronavirus struck, dying alone, without their loved ones around them. And tens of millions of jobs have disappeared in that same time, too, every one of them haunted by a family in financial duress. Congress must take further action, of course, to ensure we put families first – and do it now.
I’m proud that as Chair of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, we were able to include nearly $20 billion to ensure veterans’ healthcare needs are met in the CARES Act, whether that’s at the VA or local emergency room and clinics. Of course, in a historic crisis like this, that will not be enough. Again, in the HEROES Act the House just passed, I’m proud that this bill prevents veterans from being burdened with copays or cost-sharing for COVID-19 preventative treatment or services and includes critical protections for VA healthcare professionals.
As we mourn the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, let us not forget that the nation they fought for owes their families and those who serve after them the deepest debt of gratitude. And that means looking out for their health and well-being. All Americans deserve that much from their government, but especially those who serve in our armed forces. As I have seen throughout my time in public service, each day presents new opportunities for progress, but there are also new challenges that threaten this great democracy.
Our veterans know better than anyone that vigilance and sacrifice are a constant cost of freedom and liberty. I know that all of you would proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with today’s soldiers because you love this country and what it represents. As your Representative in Congress, I will always stand by our veterans, and honor the service of the fallen and those who continue to serve. President John F. Kennedy once said, 'As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.' This Memorial Day let us not only remember the sacrifices of our fallen heroes but renew our vow to stand by our veterans now and always.”