Americans coming together on Memorial Day

May 25, 2011 Issues: Defense and National Security, Veterans

This spring, communities across the state are holding deployment ceremonies. The Minnesota National Guard is mobilizing 2,400 troops for a one-year deployment to support Operation New Dawn (Iraq). May they all come home safely.

On this Memorial Day, we continue to be engaged in hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and men and women will pay the ultimate price while wearing the uniform of our nation.  Let us honor the memory of the 4,400 Americans who have died in Iraq, and the more than 1,500 who have died in Afghanistan.  We also honor the sacrifices of our wounded;  32,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 11,400 in Afghanistan.

Americans come together to remember those who have sacrificed their lives on behalf of our country in the name of freedom and democracy.  The debt owed to them is immeasurable.  Their sacrifices, and those of their military families, are freedom’s foundation.  Without the brave efforts of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen and their families, our country would not live so freely.

In the 35 counties that make up Minnesota’s Seventh District, we’re home to around 58,000 veterans who have served in every conflict this country has been in.

So this Memorial Day on this the most sacred day, we pause to reflect on what has been given and sacrificed. Let us never forget.