Our country, as best said by President Reagan, is a shining city on a hill. We are a beacon of freedom and hope that the rest of the world looks to and strives to emulate. Our values, our customs, and our spirit inspires people across the globe to strive for what we have – the American Dream.
We, as a nation, have a responsibility to honor the sacrifices of our service members whom we have tragically lost. No action will ever be enough to recognize those who lost their lives in the line of duty, but I believe we should do all we can to honor their memory to make sure they are never forgotten. That’s one reason I am proud to have co-authored legislation honoring the lives of the 56 Missourians who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. On this Memorial Day, my thoughts will be with their souls in heaven and with their loved ones left behind, who we honor as Gold Star families.
My thoughts in particular are with the 13 new Gold Star families – including one from Missouri – whose loved ones lost their lives honorably serving during the disastrous Afghanistan pull-out last summer. For these families, this is the first Memorial Day without their loved one, and the pain of their loss is still fresh. I pray that they are comforted by the knowledge that their loved ones served with dignity, and are now held in a place of honor by a grateful nation on this day, and every day. I know how sacred an obligation many veterans feel on Memorial Day – and every day – to pay tribute to their fallen comrades. That’s why I was disgusted to learn that the Biden administration had decided to stop providing assistance to Honor Flight tours who come to visit our nation’s capital. In the past, these veterans would receive assistance from the National Park Service to park near the memorials so they would not have to walk as far, since many of these veterans have war injuries that limit mobility. I’m disappointed it took members of Congress shaming the administration to get this done, I’m pleased that our nation will continue providing this service to our country’s heroes.
This Memorial Day, we mourn those we have lost and we remember what their sacrifice was all about. We promise to never forget them, nor what they did for this country. We think about families who are without parents, without sons, and without daughters because they put their duty to country and their fellow countryman above all else. We live in a better country today because of their actions. I hope you’ll join me in remembering and giving thanks for the fallen. God Bless America and the brave men and women who defend her.
Congressman Jason Smith (R-Salem) represents Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District. He can be reached by email at RepSmithPress@mail.house.gov.
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