This Memorial Day, remember those who sacrificed everything for our country

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On May 5, 1868, Major General John Logan issued a declaration: later that month, on May 30, veterans around the country would organize the laying of flowers and wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers from the recently ended Civil War. This was to be the precursor of today’s Memorial Day, and its roots extend back even further, to a remarkable day in 1865 when nearly 10,000 former slaves, now freed, gathered together in Charleston, South Carolina to give dead Union soldiers a proper burial.  Such noble acts are the foundation not only of Memorial Day, but of our great nation. On this day over 150 years later, we celebrate the men and women, heroes all, who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for the noble purpose of keeping America safe and free. Whether we are remembering the fearless Rangers who scaled the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-Day to liberate Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany; the young men who gave their lives in Korea and Vietnam, keeping communism at bay; the many American soldiers who died fighting in the War on Terror to ensure the horrors of 9/11 were never again repeated; or the countless lives lost in special forces missions around the globe, who kept America safe without fanfare or acclaim; we must never forget that it is because of their sacrifices that we can enjoy our freedoms and prosperity today.
Reinforcements disembark from a landing barge in Normandy during the Allied Invasion of France on D-Day.
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)MEMORIAL DAY SHOULD BE EVERY DAY IN AMERICAFew know the sacrifices of these men and women as Gold Star families do.  These are families whose immediate loved ones – sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and fathers and mothers – were killed in service to our country.  There is a hole now in these families only partially filled by the memories of those they have lost. MEMORIAL DAY IS A REMINDER FREEDOM ‘MUST BE FOUGHT FOR AND DEFENDED CONSTANTLY’Every one of us should honor them this day by seeking out friends and family who have lost family members that are dear to them. Offer them a kind word and a loving hand.  These are the better angels that unite us.   I had the great opportunity to serve my country in the Army, commanding a tank crew and cavalry platoon and a scout platoon.  Our mission was to patrol the Iron Curtain, and be ever ready for an invasion that, thankfully, never came. MEMORIAL DAY BY THE NUMBERS: FACTS ABOUT THE SOLEMN AMERICAN HOLIDAYIt was a formative experience in my life, and I built many deep bonds and friendships during my service. Too many of the soldiers with which I served went on to Afghanistan and Iraq and did not return to see their families and friends. Today, I’m thinking of their sacrifice, praying for their families and loved ones, and cherishing their memory.  CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTERI remember too those from the district I was privileged to represent in Congress who gave all for their nation.  SSG Eric Nettleton and the others from South Central Kansas who bravely and patriotically answered the call for our nation will never be forgotten by my wife Susan and me. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPI’ll close by offering a few words written by Maj. Gen. Logan, in his order establishing the first official Memorial Day:”Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the nation’s gratitude —the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”Have a happy Memorial Day, hold your loved ones close, and honor the sacrifices of those who gave everything to keep this great country safe, secure, and free. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO

Mojtaba Sadira

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