Congressman Ander Crenshaw today (5/26) issued the following statement in advance of Memorial Day ceremonies. On Sunday, May 29, he will speak at Riverside's Memorial Park in Jacksonville where he will dedicate two bronze eagles. On Monday, May 31, he will address attendees at ceremonies at Jacksonville's Veterans Memorial Wall and the National Cemetery.
"Memorial Day marks a solemn time when we honor our nation's patriots -- the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom and those who fight for our liberty around the globe today. Each deserves to stand front and center in our thoughts.
"They will be for me over Memorial Day weekend and beyond: at Riverside's Memorial Park, the Veterans Wall, and the National Cemetery on Sunday and Monday, and during my upcoming June visit to Normandy, France. On June 6, I will pay my respects to the thousands of Americans soldiers buried on distant shores.
"Riverside's Memorial Park remains my neighborhood park as it was in my youth, and I take comfort that this beautiful place exists in honor of 1,200 Florida men who perished in World War I. The two bronze eagles that I will dedicate capture the nobility of the veterans who passed in the Great War. They serve as a fitting addition to Adrian Pillars' Bronze "Life' statue that has graced the grounds since 1924.
"My Memorial Day tributes will continue on Monday at Jacksonville's Veterans Wall and National Cemetery. Through wars and battles, these men and women put their own needs aside and stood strong so our country can know freedom. Behind every name on the wall, beneath each gravestone at the cemetery lays a story and a life that must never be forgotten.
"On June 6, when I travel to Normandy, France to pay homage to the thousands of Americans buried there, my thoughts will be with my countrymen. As a former member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, I oversaw the American Battles Monuments Commission which has recently completed reconstruction work on the cliff at Point Du Hoc, between Omaha and Utah beaches.
"A new visitor center at the site of the World War II Ranger Monument is positioned on the cliff eight miles west of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial and will be dedicated. Brave and steely American soldiers lost their lives in this place of renowned history. My pride at being able to help preserve such an important piece of American history on the shore of France runs deep.
"It is our honor and privilege to reflect on the sacrifices that allowed us to live with freedom. As our military continues to travel in harm's way, let us never forget that our nation's greatness is drawn from the blood and sacrifices of courageous men and women who have gone before us. We honor all of them, on Memorial Day and every day."