As the days and weeks of May quickly fly by, we are fast approaching the end of spring. While summer officially begins on June 21, many of us mark its beginning with Memorial Day, the last Monday of May. However, we all know that Memorial Day is much more than a placeholder for the start of summer or a welcome day off work. On this holiday, Americans come together to honor all our countrymen and women who have died in war throughout U.S. history.
This year, we will observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 28. Many of us will plan to cook out with friends and family on this day, while others will attend a parade or visit a cemetery in remembrance of a loved one. However you decide to spend the holiday, know that Americans across the nation are observing Memorial Day alongside you.
On this day, we unite in commemoration and mutual respect. So many brave individuals have lost their lives to protect us and to uphold the American Dream, and each one deserves our deepest gratitude.
The sacrifices our military has made so that we can live in peace and security are innumerable. In the Ohio House we've had the sad but important duty of recognizing the many Ohioans who have given their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many have been commemorated by having their names on portions of our state routes and interstates. We will never be able to repay these sacrifices, but we can certainly recognize them with observances like Memorial Day.
In the same spirit, I recently introduced House Bill 475. This legislation was to set aside March 30 as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day." A constituent who served as a commander of a rifle company brought this bill to me, and I see it as one more way to honor a group of American heroes. It passed in a different form as Senate Bill 134, which denoted March 30 as Vietnam Veterans Day. I was pleased to present that bill on the House floor.
As we approach a holiday to honor a group of heroes who were not as fortunate to make it home to their families, I hope that each one of you takes some time to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day. We have all been affected by the courageous actions of our fallen soldiers, and we owe our freedom to them.
This is not a message that should be reserved for one day a year. We should remember these men and women long after Memorial Day has come and gone because the significance of their sacrifice will never fade.
Rep. Thompson may be reached by calling (614) 644-8728, e-mailing District93@ohr.state.oh.us, or writing to State Rep. Andy Thompson, 77 South High St., Columbus, Ohio, 43215.