Memorial Day is about so much more than summer barbecues and bright, candy-filled parades. It is a time to honor the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform.
Established in the wake of massive Civil War casualties, Memorial Day was initially called Decoration Day. Every year on May 30th, after weeks of preparation, members of the military – joined by ladies' societies, veterans, a band and school children towing wagons full of flowers – would march in detailed precision to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. Afterwards, everyone would gather in local churches for memorial services honoring those who gave their lives fighting for our nation’s freedom.
Many of us know someone who once served in the military or someone who is currently stationed overseas. We keep their names, faces and stories in our hearts as we pause and give thanks for their selfless devotion to their country, and we remember those who have gone before them.
While Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty, it is important to remember that those who made it back home have made incredible sacrifices as well. We in the Senate must do all we can to support Ohio’s veterans. One example of the support we try to offer is a bill recently passed in the Senate, now awaiting House consideration, which is aimed at smoothing the employment transition for military husbands and wives who relocate to Ohio with their active duty spouse.
Through this legislation, we can help protect the financial stability of our service men and women, their spouses, and ultimately their families by simply making licenses temporarily valid in Ohio. This would solve one of the biggest concerns of military members and their families when relocating to our state.
Our veterans put their lives on the line in service to our country. When they come home safely, it is our turn to serve them. We honor the fallen by caring for the living.
Whether you take time this Memorial Day to place a bouquet on the grave of a loved one or march in a parade, this weekend is an opportunity for all of us to express gratitude for the sacrifices that help preserve our freedom.