Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Memorial Day weekend is generally considered the unofficial beginning of summer. If the weather is nice, you'll find many people camping or having backyard barbecues. A lot of families will get together to enjoy each other's company, head to the beach, or stay home and watch the Indianapolis 500 race.
As we enjoy these freedoms, I would also like to offer an important reminder: Remember those who served our country and sacrificed their lives to make these things possible!
American soldiers have always answered the call, no matter what the price, fighting in the most unimaginable conditions to protect and preserve what we cherish most about our nation — freedom.
From our founding revolution to today's global war on terrorism, nearly one million men and women in the Armed Forces have sacrificed their lives while defending America in time of war. They gave their lives, because they understood their country's future rested upon achieving victory. We owe them and their families an enormous debt of support, respect and gratitude for their service to our nation. Their dedication and sacrifices have preserved our ability to live, work and raise our families in a free nation.
Our surviving veterans who did return home remain humble and stoic about their service. They insist that the gratitude truly belongs not to them, but to their fallen comrades who paid the ultimate price. One of the best ways to thank them is to honor their fellow soldiers who died in the line of duty, to care for their wounded brothers and sisters, and to safeguard their families.
Long after the battlefield guns have silenced and the bombs stop exploding, children of our fallen warriors will be missing a parent. Spouses will be without their life partners. Parents will continue to grieve for their heroic sons and daughters who died way too soon. Nearly 700,000 veterans live in Washington state. Chances are, you know a veteran or their family members. Please make the effort to thank them for their service, offer whatever assistance they need, show your appreciation, and give them assurance that their loved one's sacrifice will not be forgotten.
As we begin this Memorial Day weekend, please remember that all the activities you, your families and your neighbors do were made possible because of our veterans.
As President Reagan once said, “Our liberties, our values, all for which America stands, is safe today because brave men and women have been ready to face the fire at freedom's front. And we thank God for them.”
In your service,