Honoring veterans on Memorial Day

May 24, 2013


This Memorial Day, I wish to honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. We remember the many thousands of brave soldiers who have fallen while fighting on our behalf. On this day, we also honor those still serving and their families who continue to make sacrifices for us. We remember all these men and women and express our gratitude to them and their families for all they have left behind.

Throughout our history, America has fought not to conquer but to liberate. We go to war reluctantly, because we understand the high cost of war. Those who have given their lives to defend America have the respect and gratitude of our entire nation.

On this particular Memorial Day, many of us remember the recently departed Alcuin Loehr. Al was a colleague and true friend. He was a crusader for veterans his entire life. He served in the Navy during World War II. He founded the United Veterans Legislative Council. He was the Minnesota Commissioner of Veterans Affairs from 1965-69 under Governors Rolvaag and LeVander. He also served as the national vice chairman of the VFW Legislative Committee.

I was fortunate to have Al work on my staff to advise me on veterans issues for all the years I've served in Congress. He was a friend you could count on, and his passion and dedication for his veteran family was contagious.

Minnesotans lost a great citizen and tireless advocate for veterans. While we mourn his loss, we will continue to honor his life by renewing our efforts to keep our promises to those still with us. That is why supporting our troops, military families and veterans has been - and always will be - a top priority for me.