URGING ALL AMERICANS AND PEOPLE OF ALL NATIONALITIES TO VISIT THE NATIONAL CEMETERIES, MEMORIALS, AND MARKERS ON MEMORIAL DAY -- (House of Representatives - May 19, 2009)
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Mr. SALAZAR, Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 360, a bill encouraging all Americans to honor our veterans by visiting national cemeteries and memorials this Memorial Day.
Since 1862, more than three million burials have been made in VA national cemeteries.
National cemeteries are the testimony of a grateful nation to appropriately commemorate the Americans who have served our nation in the armed forces.
My home state of Colorado has a population of over 427,000 veterans.
I am proud to represent a district that is home to almost 70,000 veterans.
As a veteran myself, I know how much of an honor it was to serve my country during the Vietnam era.
My father, Henry Salazar, was a staff sergeant in the Army during World War II.
Two years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, my father came down to breakfast one morning and told us that he wanted to be buried in his uniform.
As I held my father just before he passed away he told me that he loved me and his last word was ``Uniform.''
Throughout the four years that my father lived with Alzheimer's, the two things he never forgot were how much he loved his family and how proud he was to serve his country.
It is this dedication to duty and unyielding commitment that have ensured our freedom and our way of life even in our nation's most troubled times.
The courage and sacrifices of our veterans set a necessary example to our youth and all Americans.
Their stories are important chapters in the history of our nation.
That is why I am working with members of the Colorado delegation to bring a national veterans cemetery to southern Colorado.
Current standards place many VA cemeteries closer to large metropolitan areas.
This is an issue that is faced by veterans in small and rural communities similar to those in the Third Congressional District of Colorado.
I look forward to continue working on issues that improve the lives of our veterans and honor their service.
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