Time to memorialize our nation’s fallen soldiers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our status as American citizens entitles us to great opportunities and responsibilities. Our involvement is stitched into the fabric of Old Glory and is bestowed upon us in the U.S. Constitution.

“We the people” bear the privileges and burdens of maintaining democracy. The United States was founded on the ideals of equality and justice.

Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence with these principles in mind, and they were later woven into the Bill of Rights.

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Living in America, we exercise these constitutional liberties each and every day. The freedom to pursue a happy and prosperous life—the American Dream—is a unique and precious right. As such, it is our duty to uphold America’s core democratic values.

Throughout U.S. history, our nation has endured challenges to our freedom, often in the form of military conflict.

Our soldiers have, time and again, protected the American people and safeguarded our independence.

From Lexington and Concord to the war on terror, the valor of these men and women will never be forgotten. War and conflict end, but the memory of our soldiers’ contributions is imbedded in the fibers of American society.

On May 30th, the United States will observe Memorial Day, honoring the fallen heroes that gave their lives for this country.

As the days of May tick by, I think of the approach of Memorial Day and recall my own experiences as a soldier in Iraq and Kuwait and my continuing service as an officer in the Ohio Army National Guard.

Like other military servicemen and women, I feel an innate link to those we will honor on May 30.

However, this holiday holds special significance not only for veterans, current soldiers and the families of the deceased, but also for the American public at large.

The service and sacrifice of our fallen soldiers has affected each and every one of us, simply through the continued safety and freedom that we enjoy.

When Memorial Day weekend comes around, many of you will spend it with family and friends, cooking out and relaxing.

While you enjoy yourself, I hope that you will also take some time to reflect on the courage of our fellow countrymen and women who lost their lives in defense of our rights.

Our liberty is only possible through the constant vigilance of the United States military.

We as a nation owe our unending gratitude to the fallen soldiers who gave of themselves so that we may live our lives in freedom and equality.

This Memorial Day, please join me in paying tribute to these true American heroes.

Rep. Terry Johnson can be reached at (614) 466-2124, e-mailing District89@ohr.state.oh.us, or writing to 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.