Peterson Op-Ed: Recognizing Those Who Serve

May 22, 2015 Issues: Veterans

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to attend Memorial Day services in many rural communities throughout my congressional district. All of these solemn events feature the wonderful patriotic music that I and so many others enjoy, a colorful display of flags, and the dedicated uniformed veterans and their families who work hard each year to make sure these ceremonies happen.

Sometimes the weather is fair, and occasionally it's raining, but it's always heartening to see the crowds of people who attend these events, even in these communities where populations are aging and dwindling. I'm proud to say that in the Seventh Congressional District, our patriotism and our memories are strong.

Those we lost in the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf remain in our hearts and minds. Younger generations feel first-hand the grief from those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a country, we must always remember to keep our promises to those who have served us. That is why supporting our military, their families, and all veterans has been - and always will be - a top priority for me.

Recently we observed the 70th anniversary of VE Day, and I am reminded of the simple, yet fitting words of Elmer Davis, Director of the U.S. Office of War Information during WWII: "This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."

Whether you're attending a ceremony, or just spending some time reflecting on Memorial Day, keep in mind the families of those who have lost their loved ones so that they will always know they do not bear these burdens alone.