We owe a great debt to the brave patriots who answered the nation’s call to defend our liberty. We enjoy the blessings of freedom today due to the selfless courage of America’s service men and women, many of whom protected our lives at the cost of their own.
Memorial Day is a time for us to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to America, pay tribute to their memory and celebrate everything they fought and died to protect.
First known as Decoration Day, this solemn observance began shortly after the Civil War as citizens honored fallen soldiers with flowers on their graves. Later, this annual tradition of remembrance was renamed Memorial Day and the day’s observations began to honor those who died in all of America’s conflicts.
Since our nation’s founding, more than 1 million men and women have given their lives in service to our country. It is a debt we can never repay, but one that we can sincerely honor.
That’s why it is so important to preserve the “memorial” in Memorial Day by standing together as a grateful nation and honoring those who gave their lives so that we could remain free.
I encourage everyone to unite as Americans for a National Moment of Remembrance. This observance asks all citizens to pause in their daily activities at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day to honor those who laid down their lives. This moment was established to ensure that American never lose sight of the meaning of Memorial Day.
There are many other ways to commemorate our fallen soldiers’ sacrifice, including:
• Attending a local ceremony or parade. I will be paying tribute to service personnel at several Memorial Day events planned in the 33rd district.
• Flying your flag at home or the office at half-staff from sunrise to noon.
• Viewing the annual Michigan Senate Memorial Day service. This special event honors Michigan residents killed in action over the previous 12 months. Live streaming of the ceremony is available online at www.senate.michigan.gov. The event will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday.
This Memorial Day, let’s remember the soldiers who died in the defense of freedom and make sure the legacy of their sacrifice and service is never taken for granted or forgotten.
Sen. Judy Emmons serves the residents of the 33rd Senate District, which includes the counties of Clinton, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm.
The opinions expressed in the Guest View do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Daily News.