Peterson Op-Ed: Observing Memorial Day

May 24, 2016 Issues: Veterans

This year we will mark the 147th observance of Memorial Day. While many spend the long weekend enjoying the first days of summer with friends and family, we should not lose sight of the meaning behind this federal holiday. I hope you will take a moment to reflect on this Memorial Day.

Government leaders first established “Declaration Day” following the Civil War as an opportunity for the nation to honor the graves of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. The holiday has since extended to pay respect to all Americans who died serving in the military.

The welfare of our nation's troops, and honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, is highly important to me. Every day I salute our veterans and pledge to continue to dedicate myself to pursuing every effort to ensure our veterans and soldiers have the quality health care and benefits that they have earned. We owe it to them.

I wish you and your family a fulfilling holiday weekend and encourage you to pay your respects to our country's service members. It is important to remember the men and women who have valiantly defended our country, as well as those who continue to sacrifice their lives for our freedom.