The month of May brings a flurry of activity as school winds down and summer activities begin. But it is also an important month of remembrance. Days have been established at the state and national levels reminding us of the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our communities and our country.
Earlier this month we marked the sacrifices of first responders – and more specifically, police officers – with National Police Week and Peace Officers’ Memorial Day. This weekend, we recognize Memorial Day, a day of remembering and honoring the military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation.
As Scripture tells us, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." As we celebrate Memorial Day, please remember what we are recognizing. We are honoring hundreds of thousands of men and women – friends, family members, neighbors – who chose something greater than themselves. They risked their safety, and ultimately gave their lives, in defense of our freedom and security.
Today, we all had the benefit of waking up in a nation that was founded on the ideals of liberty and equality, a nation that is among the freest and most prosperous in the history of the world. That did not happen by accident. It happened because brave Americans spilled their blood and gave their lives to make it happen. Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to remember their boldness, their courage and their sacrifice, and to honor them.
One way we can honor their sacrifice is by taking better care of those who are protecting us right now. We did this recently in the Senate by passing a bill easing the employment transition for military husbands and wives who relocate to Ohio with their active duty spouse. Through this, we can help protect the financial stability of our service men and women, their spouses, and their families.
We owe these heroes, both living and fallen, a debt that we can never repay. Honor their sacrifice through your actions every day. Appreciate the gifts that we have – the freedoms that we enjoy – but never forget that they were not granted to us by luck or by some accident of history. They were given to us by our fallen brothers and sisters. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “If words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.”