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Remarks: United States Veterans Relief Organization

Location: Unknown


Thank you so very much for inviting me to be here tonight. I would like to introduce my wife of 39 years, Fran. We are both so honored to be a part of this important benefit and want to thank all of the organizers and especially Ronald Baker for your vision and good work on behalf of Northeast Ohio's veterans and their families.

I come here tonight as your United States Senator -- to honor and to remember our veterans, their families, and especially our young and courageous service members who did not come home -- those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting for freedom and to make our world a safer place.

Tonight, Fran and I also come here as parents -- who lost a child. Over time, Fran and I have gotten to know so many of the families here this evening -- and families all across Ohio -- have lost their children in the global fight against terror. As these families know all too well, the pain of losing a child simply cannot be expressed in words.

Over 13 years ago, our 22 year old daughter Becky was killed in a car accident. We think of her every day. We miss her every day. We remember her smile and her laugh and the all goodness she brought into this world.

To the families who have lost their sons in service to our Nation, we come here tonight to say that you are not alone.

We come here to say that your sons and husbands and fathers and brothers lived well and with great purpose.

We come here tonight to say that we will never forget them -- that we will always honor these brave, wonderful, and unique souls.

Thomas Paine once wrote that "if there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so that my child may have peace."

... So that my child may have peace.

This is the wish of all parents and families. But, sadly, we cannot always know when and how trouble will come upon us. Every day you miss your sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers. And every day, I know that you wish there were some way you could have spared them the dangers that they so willingly faced.

But bringing peace to our children was also the wish of the young men we are remembering tonight. They fought not only out of a sense of duty, but because they wanted to make this world a better, safer place. They took the trouble of our world today upon their own shoulders, and they did that so that future generations could live in peace -- so that we could live in peace.

All the men we are remembering tonight brought joy and laughter into your lives. Each had his own unique story to tell -- his own unique way of making you smile. Although cut short, their lives were filled with love. They loved their families. And, they loved their country.

Our Nation is proud of them.

Ohio is proud of them.

God bless you, and God Bless America.

Thank you.

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