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Fallen Heroes

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


FALLEN HEROES -- (Extensions of Remarks - June 04, 2004)

SPEECH OF
HON. PAUL RYAN
OF WISCONSIN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2004

Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, this Memorial Day we honored the sacrifices that every generation of U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines has made to protect our country and ensure that the hope and light of liberty never dies. This includes the current generation of America's military men and women who are defending us right now, as we gather in peace and freedom.

Our troops today are following in the proud tradition of those who have gone before them to defeat tyrants and oppressors and keep America secure and free. In doing so, they have taken on great risk, putting their lives on the line to accomplish their mission. In Wisconsin and throughout our nation we have lost some of our bravest young men and women in the ongoing operations to combat terrorism and help freedom take root in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among them, a soldier from the district I represent, Private First Class Sean Schneider, was killed in Iraq in March when a bomb hit his convoy.

Sean grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin, and graduated from Craig High School-the same school I graduated from. Sean liked to hunt, canoe, and tinker with cars and motorcycles. His high school teachers talk about what a caring individual he was and how he was the kind of student you respected. At the same time, he was an independent young man who knew what he wanted to do with his life.

Sean joined the Army in 2002 with a strong desire to serve and protect his country. In doing so, he made that incredible commitment that our military men and women and our veterans throughout history have made: he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and put his life in danger to preserve our rights and freedoms.

It is because of Sean and people like him that our country remains free today. America owes Sean and all who have given their lives serving in our Armed Forces a tremendous debt that can never be repaid. We must commit to remembering forever their lives and valiant sacrifices. And we must be grateful for our veterans who have stood up, like Sean did, for our country and the cause of freedom.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our fallen servicemen and women and their families. May God bless them and all Americans serving with honor today.

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