Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr released the following statement in advance of Memorial Day:
"Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off of summer - parades down Main Streets are commonplace, children rejoice as pools across the country open, and families and friends gather outdoors to relax and catch up over burgers or barbecue. As we enjoy the freedoms that so many Americans have died protecting, we are reminded of the true meaning of Memorial Day, and we honor all of our nation's servicemembers who have given of themselves to make days like this possible - especially those who paid the ultimate price and gave their lives so we could be free.
"Our nation's servicemen and women have placed their country above self, oftentimes leaving behind family and friends and traveling to unfamiliar, unfriendly territory in order to preserve our freedoms and protect our nation. Many laid down their lives for strangers they would never meet.
"For centuries, American citizens have willfully taken up arms and put themselves in harm's way not for any sense of glory or personal gain, but to serve and protect the country they hold so dear. The cost of freedom and security has been paid with the lives of these men and women, both here at home and in far-away countries across the world. It is these individuals who gave their lives for their country and their countrymen whom we honor today and whom we thank in our hearts every day. Without them and their sacrifice, the America we know today would not exist.
"But it is not just the fallen servicemembers who made the sacrifice - the families they left behind paid dearly for our freedom and security, as well. We owe these families the same honor and respect we afford those who put on our nation's uniform, and we have a responsibility to provide them with the support and care they deserve and have earned.
"This Memorial Day, let us take a moment to remember the heroes of all of our nation's wars, especially those who did not make it home to the country they were fighting to protect. Their sacrifice makes it possible for us to wake up each morning in a free country where our rights are protected and we enjoy personal liberties rare in many parts of the world. To those men and women who died for us, and to their families, thank you and God bless you for your service and sacrifice."