Honoring Those Who Serve

By Rep. Mike Sanders

As we move through the business of life, it’s sometimes easy to forget what is truly important – the love of a spouse, watching our children play and grow, the importance of family and friends, living in a country where we are free to choose where to attend church, where to send our children to school, what careers to pursue, a nation where we can all have a voice in our government. We are so blessed.

Such freedom doesn’t come without cost. Unfortunately, all we enjoy in this nation comes at great sacrifice. It comes because men and women have been willing to lay down their lives for liberty.

As we approach Memorial Day, I want to say thank you to all of the men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom. From those who defended our liberty as far back as the founding of our nation, to those who served on either side in the Civil War, those who fought in World Wars I and II, in Korea and Vietnam and those who currently fight in the war against terrorism in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. More than a million military service men and women have died in all of these wars. I realize all that I love and hold dear is possible only because of the men and women who serve our country to ensure we stay free.

While Memorial Day was started as Decoration Day in the Civil War as a way to recognize and honor our military dead, it has since come to also be a day when we remember our family members who have preceded us in death. It has been three years since my own dear mother passed away, and I remember every day all of her personal sacrifice for me. I will always keep her memory alive and pray that her legacy lives through me.

As the flags fly this weekend, and the sound of “Taps” is heard at cemeteries across the nation, and flowers are placed on the graves of loved ones, I hope you all will join me in saying an extra prayer for our military and for their families who also sacrifice. Make sure to say thank you to all you know who have served in this capacity.

I’ll discuss the state budget in detail in my next few columns over the next few weeks. For now, please enjoy your Memorial Day.

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