Memorial Day is celebrated every year as a national day of remembrance to honor our fallen American soldiers, both past and present. The holiday weekend is often used to mark the beginning of summer, a time when people come together at parades and celebrations to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Finding its roots right here in New York, on a main street in the village of Waterloo, Memorial Day was first celebrated in the spring of 1866. Now, nearly a century and a half later, we continue in the same fashion to honor our fallen soldiers. Flags are hung at half mast, flowers are placed on the graves of our lost soldiers and ceremonies are held in cities and towns across the country to commemorate those who gave their lives to protect our families, our homes and our nation. It is a day that unites our country and allows us time to reflect and express our utmost gratitude to those fallen in the fight for freedom.
In recent weeks, we have had an important reminder of the bravery of our troops and how hard they fight to protect us. The recent death of Osama bin Laden reminds us that those who have fallen, both at home and abroad, have not done so in vain. And, it should serve as a warning to America’s enemies that our servicemen and women will fight to protect us, even if they have to travel to the farthest reaches of the globe.
It is my hope that this Memorial Day, we will be able to take the time to honor the uniformed men and women we have lost due to conflict throughout the years. We will always remember and honor them as heroes of our great state and nation.
In the Assembly, my colleagues and I are dedicated to honoring and preserving the memory of those who died during times of conflict. I will do everything in my power to ensure the best for our troops and their families, while at home and abroad. The men and women in uniform – the heroes who fight across the world to defend our freedom – are an inspiration to New Yorkers.