Senator Boucher: Memorial Day a Time to Remember, Be Thankful

May 27, 2018



We live in such exciting times. Our technology allows us to do and experience so many things. Many of us are constantly on the move.

While we are wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it can be easy to take the wonderful freedoms we enjoy for granted. It can be easy to forget that our freedoms came at a very high price.

Memorial Day is a time to remember. We reflect on the generations of men and women who served our country in the armed forces and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. They are the soldiers who never got the joyful homecoming with their families. And more often than not, they are young people in the prime of their lives who barely got a chance to experience the freedoms they fought and died for.

I think of 19-year-old Nicholas Madaras of Wilton who died in Iraq. I think of his parents who also paid a price for our freedoms. I think of the countless families whose loved ones never came home and how they carry a loss many of us will never know. I pray for them and I say, “Thank you.”

Most of us are far removed from the conflicts around the world where our service men and women are stationed. Between 2015 and 2017, members of the U.S. military were fighting terrorism in 76 countries. Since the beginning of the War on Terror, more than 7,000 members of the armed forces have perished.

They died for us. They died for our freedoms and the freedoms of future generations of Americans.

Since the Vietnam War, the U.S. military has been an all-volunteer operation. The men and women who joined did so because they believed in the idea of what American is and what it can be. It is up to us to make sure they did not die in vain.

On Memorial Day, we must teach our children and grandchildren why our freedoms are so precious. We must help them understand that our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion, and all the other freedoms we enjoy are possible because of the sacrifice of others.

Today, we honor and remember the fallen and their families. We say, “Thank you” to them, and also to the veterans and active service members who are still with us. We owe them so much.

God bless America!