Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today issued the following statement to commemorate Memorial Day:
"This Memorial Day, we honor and remember the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom and our nation. We remember their courage, their strength, and their love of country.
"In the past 12 months, three of Hawaii's own keiki o ka "āina have been lost in the line of duty: Lance Corporal Christopher L. Camero of Waimea, Hawaii Island; Senior Chief Petty Officer Kraig Vickers of Haiku, Maui; and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don C. Viray of Waipahu, Oahu.
"I am humbled by the service of these heroes. We continue to mourn them and the other men and women who gave their lives while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Memorial Day ensures that acts of valor of our servicemembers will not be forgotten. But this should be more than one day of remembrance. It should be lived every day -- exemplified by caring for the servicemembers, veterans, and military families in our community. This is why I was a proud cosponsor of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act and the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, to support the transition back to civilian life for our servicemembers.
"It is also why I continue to fight to protect and strengthen Impact Aid, which supports the more than 25,000 children in Hawaii whose parents are active-duty military, work on federal property, or live in federal low-rent housing.
"As we observe Memorial Day and close out Military Appreciation Month, let us give thanks to all those who served or are serving today."