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This Memorial Day, Honor Our Past and Those Who Will Defend Us in the Future


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From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.

--Thomas Jefferson

Every year on the last Monday of May, grateful Americans remember military service men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country. We honor their dedication and willingness to fight for our precious freedoms against a treacherous enemy. Their courage and commitment to America and its citizens are unparalleled, and I hope I'm with the majority in appreciating their bravery.

It's sometimes easy to forget the meaning of the holiday that we commonly view as a much needed break from our daily lives. Memorial Day generally marks the beginning of the summer season, and folks excitedly welcome the warm weather and smell of freshly cut grass and chlorine. While people around the country grill out and enjoy the outdoors, many of our service members wake up, strap on their body armor, and walk outside to face our enemy, and in some cases, death. Without giving a second thought, they stand proudly against dangerous forces and risk everything for the ultimate sacrifice.

With our own men and women fighting for us overseas, it's important to understand the impact their service has every day. While America recognizes Memorial Day once a year, the families and friends of service members pay tribute to our country's heroes daily. Just this year alone the death toll in Afghanistan has been at its highest since the beginning of the war. This isn't just a distant idea for many families throughout Texas. The memories of their loved ones linger forever, and the faces of the deceased are permanently etched in their minds.

In the 6th District, we have suffered the losses of our fellow community members and neighbors. Among the fallen are: Sgt. Wade Daniel Wilson, a 22-year-old Marine from Leon County who died serving his second tour in Afghanistan; Army soldier Pfc. Joel Ramirez from Waxahachie who died in Afghanistan after a year of military service; and Crowley resident Cpl. Jason Daniel, an Army medic, who earned the prestigious Purple Heart for his sacrifice in Iraq. I give my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these incredible heroes, and I pray that the list of fallen heroes remains as is.

In 2000, President Clinton released a memorandum regarding the White House Program for the National Moment of Remembrance. This memorandum calls for all executive agencies and departments to encourage Americans to hold a moment of silence every year on Memorial Day at 3:00pm, local time. This Monday, May 28th, I hope that all of you will join me in bowing your heads in silence to pay respects to those who gave up everything for our nation. This Memorial Day, remember the fallen, and enjoy your day. Many sacrificed their lives to give us this luxury, and this we should never forget.

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