No Greater Sacrifice, Memorial Day
A Guest Column by State Senator Tim Schaffer
May 28, 2021
Memorial Day is about so much more than summer barbecues and 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 schoolchildren 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.
Here in the Ohio Senate, we seek to pass legislation that honors the memory of the fallen and lightens the burden on the families they left behind. Since the inception of this great nation, brave men and women have fought and died so that we might retain our freedom. Their sacrifices are not for recognition, fame or honors we bestow upon them. They fight to protect our country and our way of life. We must remember to give thanks to live in a country where citizens from every generation willingly and courageously raise their hands to defend our liberties.
John 15:13 tells us: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." This year we honor the service members who lived up to that greatest form of love. The love that sparked this nation at Lexington and Concord. The love that stormed the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima. The love that embodies the American spirit of selfless devotion to your countrymen.
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.
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 sacrifice that preserves our freedom. This Memorial Day, join me in remembering the greatest form of love, and the men and women who embodied that love so daringly.