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Words from Washington

Remember the fallen this Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, we remember and honor the more than one million men and women throughout our nation's history who have made the ultimate sacrifice. From the very founding of our Republic, Americans have volunteered to fight for the principles of justice, liberty, freedom and equality around the globe. Whether it was in battles during World War II, Vietnam, Korea or more recent conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, United States military members have laid down their lives to help keep our nation safe and free.

Originally begun as a day to honor soldiers killed serving our nation, today communities across the United States gather to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. For more than 140 years the United States has set aside the last Monday in May to rekindle the story of our great nation, told through the stories of the men and women who have given their lives in service to America.

These are the brave soldiers who charged the beaches at Normandy, who stalked silently through the jungles of Vietnam, and who fought in the mountains of Afghanistan. They placed themselves in the line of fire knowing full well that they might be the next name on the list of American heroes who have fallen in battle.

While we pause to mourn their loss and celebrate their lives, as long as new generations of Americans are willing to volunteer to stand up in defense of liberty, then our nation will remain free and strong.

This Memorial Day let us also think of the men and women currently in the Armed Forces, especially those serving on the front lines of the war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. These soldiers are part of a noble tradition dating back over two centuries to the Revolutionary War, modern day warriors who have stood in the arena and fought valiantly against the enemy. And now, as then, it is their daily work and daily courage that keeps our country safe.

So as we celebrate Memorial Day, take a moment to remember the soldiers who laid down their lives so that we might be free. Remember their sacrifice, and the sacrifices of their loved ones left behind. Never forget that the men and women who volunteer to keep us safe from harm may one day be taken from us while defending liberty.

The memories of our fallen solders are that which we must cherish and honor this Memorial Day.

- Congressman Doc Hastings

(R-Pasco) represents Central

Washington's Fourth

Congressional District.

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