Assemblyman Ortiz, Chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Calls on Us to Remember Memorial Day for What It Truly Signifies

May 26, 2006
(Albany NY) Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn), Chair of the NYS Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee is calling on New Yorkers to put the meaning back in Memorial Day and take the time to honor our fallen heroes.

“For too long now, the ‘memorial’ in Memorial Day has been ignored by many of us who are beneficiaries of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Sadly, the majority of Americans see this important holiday as simply a three day weekend or a major shopping day. Memorial Day should be a day where we consider our American history and our core values, and actively remember all of the men and women who gave their lives for the ideals we cherish” stated Ortiz.

Memorial Day was first officially celebrated in 1882. It was intended to be a day to honor and appreciate the sacrifices made by over 1 million men and women who have died in wars and conflicts since our nation fought for independence in 1775.

Ortiz is asking New Yorkers to take the time on Memorial day to visit cemeteries and place flags and flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes, visit memorials, fly our flags at half-staff until noon, and is asking that everyone participate in the “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3:00 pm. “It is my hope that New Yorkers will participate in some of these tributes to our soldiers on this Memorial Day. I believe it is also important to fly the flag at half-staff. As a veteran myself, I know the importance of respecting our flag, which unfortunately is not as appreciated in our time as it should be. The flag gave hope and courage and the sight of its raising lifted the spirits of so many of our soldiers fighting abroad,” stated Ortiz.

“On this Memorial Day, I would especially like to call on my fellow New Yorkers to remember our fallen soldiers and to support and pray for those still fighting in the war on terror. We need to take this day to renew a pledge as a country, to aid the widows and orphans of our fallen soldiers. We also need to renew our commitment to aid our disabled veterans,” stated Ortiz. “As a veteran and as Chair of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I will do my best to honor these duties on Memorial Day and everyday,” continued Ortiz.