Senator Boxer: Honoring America’s Fallen Heroes
Friday, May 25, 2012
This Memorial Day, our nation will again honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in their service to America. We remember these men and women who, when asked to do so and without question for their own safety or comfort, heroically and courageously served our nation.
Memorial Day is an intensely personal day for the many families mourning their loved ones who gave their lives fighting to defend the freedoms we enjoy today. This year, I send my deepest gratitude for their service and my condolences for their loss.
Memorial Day was first observed in 1868 as Decoration Day, when the families of Civil War victims honored their war dead by decorating their graves. Over time, the holiday became known as Memorial Day – a day for us all to commemorate the valor and sacrifice of the men and women who have died in our nation’s service.
Many Americans also commemorate a “National Moment of Remembrance” each Memorial Day. At 3 p.m. local time, people across the country will stop their regular routines for a moment of reflection to honor America’s fallen heroes.
I encourage everyone this Memorial Day to honor the brave Americans who paid the ultimate price. I also urge you take every opportunity to join in honoring all of our service members, veterans, and their families for their service and countless sacrifices.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
Your Voice Counts: Californians Respond to This Message +
Thank you Senator Boxer for the very eloquent message about our fallen hero's. Both my father and my husband served in the Air Force. My dad retired after 30 years of service and my husband retired after 28 plus years. I am proud of our military men and women and wish they would always be treated with respect. Thank you for doing so on Memorial Day.
I was moved by your e-message on that I should remember all of the men & women who sacrificed thier lives for our freedoms in this Country. I'm sorry for not concidering what our the Memorial Day is all about. This was a good article. Yours,
I would be even happier if our heroic veterans scathed by the war were equally honored. After all they are alive, living every day with the horrors of war. Frequently their lives are shattered as though a bomb had exploding underneath them. Celebrating the glory of the dead is wonderful,but the dead do not have to survive day after day, suffering. Those who are still alive have to live with horrible physical disabilities while others with equally horrific mental difficulties. These are the people who need our support, our praise. These are the people who need proper medical care. Somehow they are swept aside while the dead are honored and glorified.
Susanna, San Francisco
I thank you for your patriotic words of thanks and encouragement to honor our veterans, who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow Americans. My Father USMC, Pvt. Norvin Herman Scheffler was KIA during WWII on Okinawa Ja., May 12 1945. He left a wife (my Mother Thelma M. Scheffler/Peterson) with two young sons, myself and my younger brother David. He was just 26 years old and a draftee into the MSMC. He never shirked his call to duty for our country and may his life and service never be forgotten. I am a retired USAF veteran and very proud of my own service to our country. Thank You, for your service.
I would like to honor the memory of my older brother, George Hernandez, who gave his life for his country on May 20, 1951 on the Korean battlefield. His death changed my life forever and I will never forget him. God Bless him and all those who made the sacrifices for our country.
Theresa, San Francisco
I enjoyed and appreciated your Memorial Day statement. My wife and I just returned from a holiday trip to Europe. While there, we visited the Nettuno-Anzio Beach Memorial Cemetery, south of Rome, Italy. We were there to give our thanks, honor and respect to Lauren Wells, my brother-in-law's brother who died, along with thousands of others in the Anzio Beach invasion in 1943. He was just 19 and had been in the military about 6 months. We were very impressed with the Memorial and the Cemetery and were given very nice care by the Memorial Director. Thanks to the U. S. for maintaining this and other memorials around the world to recognize the contribution of our fallen military veterans.
Thank you for your insightful e-mail. I really enjoyed your tribute to our warriors abroad. I lovingly recall my dad, a WW2 survivor, who chased Rommel all over North Africa. My dad was a success story from so many perspectives. He benefitted from WPA projects funded by FDR that fueled the Dept. of Conservation's roads and highway program. He was a crew person on building many of California's remote park and rec landmarks, roads and vista areas. His skill landed him an opportunity to enlist w General Patton in a Desert Rat command. After surviving 11 bouts of malaria, he came home, married my mom and joined Local 12. He was a Heavy Equipment Operator who provided his 4 daughters quality Ca educations. He built freeways, airports and major arteries. He died in 2005, after volunteering for countless medical studies to benefit other vets. He is my hero.
As a retired member of the United States Navy, I wanted to say "Thank You" for the memorial day message that I received. It is great to know you that you are supportive of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom. Sincerely, Robert, Simi Valley
Thank you for your Memorial Day message. All of us gave some, but some gave all. I feel fortunate to have given only some for a 25-year period. I served my country for 25 years and am quite proud of that fact. May God Bless our great country.
It's good to honor our fallen heroes, but it would be nice to increase the pay for those still living and their families, as well as those of the ones who won't be coming home again. Why are we increasing many government worker's wages, but not the military, many of whom put their lives on the line on a daily basis? Just a question from a former Marine.
Roy, San Rafael
Thank you for the e-mail regarding Memorial Day. I hope all members of congress did the same. We live very comfortable lives here in the U.S.A. and it is all too easy to forget that many thousands of Americans have had their lives taken. Today, thousands of our troops are deployed in the Middle East, living in terrible conditions, trying to make a difference, and putting their lives on the line every day. I wish them all Godspeed, and hope they all return safely.
Fenton, Rolling Hills
I am responding to your beautifully expressed thoughts on this Memorial Day. In Petaluma, CA, my adopted town, we have a beautiful and active museum that spends a great deal of their time honoring our active and retired service men. We are lucky that the museum has a president that is very thankful for the wonderful work they do, and have done, to preserve our freedom and our country. The museum also stresses the importance of accepting people for who they are as individuals, and accepting their national origins. This month, we are celebrating the men of the Navajo tribes who contributed to their country, often putting their lives on the line and too many times, killed or injured. The focus of the museum is on the Navajo Coding work in which they used their native language to send secret messages that the enemy was unable to decode during the crucial times of World War II. Their contribution was a major asset to the war effort and we appreciate our good fortune to have these Navajo people and their descendants as part of our great nation.
Thank you for your timely reminder of what Memorial Day is truly about. Having lost my father in service to this country, it bothers me that so many take the sacrifice of those dying in freedom's name for granted. Like so much else in life, freedom is never free. It is very costly and is paid by the few for the many. It is good to see our elected officials finally acknowledging it.
Heather, Santa Rosa
We do not agree with you on many issues, but on this we do agree. Our service members deserve the greatest degree of appreciation. Thank you for your support of them.
Ed and Lynn, Kings Beach
Thank you for honoring our military heroes. We must always remember that our true freedom is not free...it does cost us. Thank you and God bless you,
Leonard and Linda, Anaheim
Thank you so much for remembering how important Memorial Day is to Americans. As a veteran myself and son of an American hero who died in the Vietnam War while flying A4 Skyhawks off the USS Coral Sea on Nov. 25th, 1967, I salute you and all the politicians in Washington to remember how we have the power to be free in this great nation. My family has fought for freedom since the War of Independence in 1776 and the long fight will continue as long as we never forget the sacrifice so many have made. God bless you....
I suggest we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by ending our current wars and ending the use of force to solve international problems. Let's also honor the innocent civilians in other countries who have died as a result of our attacks. This number is much larger than the number of American soldiers who have died, and all of these ended lives had value. Let's work to become a nation that cares about all people of the world and not just Americans.
Mark, Palos Verdes Peninsula
The way to stop creating more veterans and war dead is to stop all the unnecessary wars. Bring all our troops home and stop meddling in the affair of other countries. "I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, 'Mother, what was war'?"
Eve, Foster City
Thank you for your, Honoring America`s Fallen Heroes e-mail, I appreciate your sentiments. I don't agree with you on many issues, but appreciate your service to our country. Our family wishes you all the best.
Having lived through the Vietnam War, I am glad to see all Veterans honored. It was horrible what the Vietnam vets went through in Vietnam and at home. I recently moved from Humboldt County. Eureka has many Vets. They desperately need all the services they can get. Unfortunately, due to California's budget cuts, they are not getting that help. I just don't understand where our countries' priorities are. So thank you Senator Boxer, for honoring our vets. They deserve that and so much more.
Sarah, San Francisco
Thank you so much for your continued support of our American Veterans.
(Past State Commander Veterans of Foreign Wars Dept. of Calif)
I just want to thank you for taking the time to acknowledge the importance of this holiday. At age 68, I can remember when it was still called Decoration Day, and visiting the cemetery with my parents and grandparents to put flowers on family graves, and then stopping and giving thanks for their sacrifice at the soldiers' and sailors' graves, which were a veritable sea of red, white and blue flags dancing in the breeze. These days it doesn't even seem to be a "Day" any more. It's Memorial Day "Weekend" with no more meaning than a day off from work... if you're lucky enough to be working. So, thank you for making the effort to remind people to appreciate the significance of the day.
I cannot honor the men and women who have died in our wars. I feel great pity for their unrealized lives and the loss their families endure. They are unknowing collaborators of our military and corporate greed which conned them into thinking they were saving democracy and U.S. freedom. Meanwhile certain corporations get rich and money drains out by the billions from our education and infrastructure systems.
My family has proudly served their country for hundreds of years. Some came home to us and others didn't. I think my family members would be so enraged with how we treat our servicemen and women today. My stepson had to sleep on concrete (Iraq) until his wife could send an air mattress to him. His father had to supply him with equipment the Army should have. He would return to base camp after being on patrol for days, hungry, dirty and tired. But he would have to wait to eat until the meal handlers/servers had eaten first before he could eat. He was the last of his troop to come home on leave, because felt they needed more than himself. We pay our servicemen and women next to nothing, we have so few jobs for them when they return, we don't treat their issues whether mental or physical the way we could and should. We don't prepare their families for what they can expect then the serviceman or woman returns. Our servicemen and women offer up the greatest sacrifice known to man and their own country can't take proper care of them. On this Memorial Day we should take better care of those who are serving this country - make a commitment to our troops.
Gail, Ben Lomond
Thank you for your wonderful Memorial Day message. So many Americans do not know, or forget, the meaning and reason why many of our holidays exist. Memorial Day being one of them. We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who has served and sacrificed so much.
Senator Boxer, while I recognize the great sacrifice made by many of our soldiers, I think it should be pointed out that, with few exceptions, the wars fought throughout our country's history were totally unnecessary and that the soldiers who lost their lives died not to protect our country but to advance the political and economic interests of those in power. What our young people need to understand before deciding to participate in America's wars is that they have a choice and that refusing to fight might be the wiser alternative. As we honor those who have lost their lives, I think we should also honor those who have followed their consciences and refused to participate. I agree with this statement attributed to Albert Einstein: "The pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service."
I am glad that MOST Americans (I believe/hope) still feel patriotic gratitude toward all veterans, living or dead, and gratitude to God for blessing us with this country. In spite of all our vast differences and beliefs, and in spite of our lamentable weaknesses and faults, we have the best country in the world. I am grateful to you for seeming to be "a good steward" and trying to keep our country from "falling" further than it already has due to greed and corruption in many high places.
As you do so often, time after time, once again I have a new reason to be very proud that you are one of my Senators! We may not always agree at the time on a given issue, but (guess what) I find more often than not that you were correct and I was mistaken...Go You! As I say I'm very proud of you, you are a great Senator and we here in CA are lucky to have you...we all know your job isn't "fun and games" and that you have given up so much to serve...I honor that service too!
Don, San Jose
Even though I usually disagree with your liberal, socialistic, political agendas, I want to thank you for your very thoughtful Memorial Day message. Our military and their families continue to make the ultimate sacrifices in order to maintain our military strength, world order and our defense spending relative to our annual economic GNP; as well as limiting terrorist threats and freeing those who suffer at the hands of barbarian dictators Thanks again for this message
Jim, San Diego
If you really want to honor our military, bring them all home NOW! They are risking their lives fighting in countries and for people who don't give a damn about us, except for our money.
Doug, Diamond Springs
Thank you for the reminder of a 3 p.m. designated time of silent gratitude for their sacrifice for a country that should be ever vigilant to preserve peace through all possible means, rather than foster fear and foment more war, thus enriching a few at the expense of many. Of course, human time being but a linear construct, and Time an ever-present river, that moment of acknowledgement could be selected anywhere at any time -- and even extended to a consciousness of peace.
Thank You for honoring our men and women serving our country. My grandfather, Dad, brother and daughter have all served in the military. My daughter is still active in the reserves after 25 years of service. This Monday, we will be at the Presidio to honor our solders. Keep up the great work you are doing,
Sue, San Bruno
Nice to see that we can agree on something in a bi-partisan way. With such division in the country, we need to come together and agree on the most important issues that are plaguing this land of ours. Thank you for your message and I will stop at 3pm and take a moment for sure!
Gloria, Santa Monica
Thank you for your thoughtful and well written message. I appreciated reading it and also learning more about Memorial Day.
Mary, San Bruno
I am responding to your email myself and 3 of my friends from California left Rancho Cucamonga on motorcycles to Washington DC to honor our men and women in the armed force and to honor our POW MIA.
Sam, Tim, Jerry, Jim, Chino Hills
Thank you, Senator Boxer for reminding the younger generations of the importance of this Memorial Day.
I would like to thank you for your message. It means a lot to me. I hope you really do honor the veterans when you vote.
James, San Diego
Isn't the sentiment of "Thanks to the troops", which is constantly with us, growing tired, and even doubtful? Does this slogan support or derogate from a citizen's critical thinking? Does it require any analysis of this war or that? What is it good for, anyway, this slogan of "support our troops" and its many, many forms? Isn't it a kind of politician's giant bottle of ketchup? Always on the table, often used just because it's there?
Thank-you so much for understanding the need to let Vets know how much they are REALLY appreciated!! My late husband was a Viet Nam vet. I'm sure you remember how they were treated. But it is because of people like you who take the time to get a positive message out that things are slowly changing. There are changes still to be made, but one step at a time. Again, thank-you.
Sherry, San Marcos
Thank-you for your sincere, heartfelt Memorial Day message. A veteran
As a veteran, I say that you can best honor our "service members, veterans, and their families for their service and countless sacrifices" by getting us out of all wars, closing Guantanamo, and defeating repressive homeland spying. In my opinion, this country's foreign and domestic policies are authoritarian and only do damage to the principles of democracy.
Bernie, Los Angeles
It's important that each and every one of us as Americans remember that the cost of freedom does have a price. Remembering the lives of those that gave theirs in order for us to have ours is a high priority with me. I personally will be at the Veterans Museum in Balboa Park (in San Diego) tomorrow doing my part to respect the lives of our military. Thank you for your email and taking the time to do your part on this very special weekend.
Caryn, La Jolla
My great great grandfather died in the Civil war as did many of my ancestors. About 100 years later my brother fought in Korea; I was in the Navy when we invaded Lebanon in 1958. It seems to me that the nobility of the causes has declined considerably since the first Memorial Day in 1868. Please---honor our war dead by ending these pointless wars---Iraq and Afghanistan. And NO! we should not attack Iran. Yours very sincerely,
I had 8 (eight) Brothers who served in our Military, also my Husband and my Son. You are right..... it is a very Personal Day for all of us. Thank You for remembering
Arvilla, Fair Oaks
Far too many soldiers (and Iraqi and Afghani civilians) have died needlessly in the last 10 and 1/2 years in these 2 wars. We don't honor our precious dead by adding to the death roll. We bring home the precious living ones now. We should have done that a long time ago!
Please don't forget on this Memorial day, that there are lots of wounded Vets coming home from the wars that need medical attention that is not covered by the VA medical dept. This is an American tragedy and should not occur in this wonderful country of ours. Please fight for their medical needs. No matter what the needs if they are wounded, physically or mentally our country should provide for all their needs. Thank you for the reminder to pray today at 3 PM Faith in God will strengthen our country to address the many needs and trials our country is burdened by now and in the days and years to come. Sincerely,
Richard, Fair Oaks