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What will be on your mind Memorial Day?

A word from U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi

May 28, 2001

On May 28 we will once again celebrate a day that has come to mean many things to the people of our state and this nation.

For some of us, it marks the first unofficial day of summer. This is the day we head off to the park or some other place to get away from it all and enjoy the good weather.

For others, this is an extra day off, a three day weekend, a time to let loose and have a good time with family and friends. For still others, this is a weekend of great sales with bargains galore to be sought after and fought after while the stores are open and prices are low.

But for most of us, the memories of two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and a host of conflicts in between, will bring quite a different set of thoughts to mind. We will remember the stories of our American heroes who fought and died so that we might be free. Whether we remember those stories because we lived through them as a witness to history, or we read about them as we learned about our past, we will never forget the men and women of our Armed Forces and the sacrifices they made – for us!

What will be on your mind this Memorial Day? Will you remember those who gave all so that you might be free? Or will you turn your attention to the more pleasant tasks that lie before us – like picnics and fishing and cookouts in the back yard.

Let me be clear that all those activities are good ways to spend the day. I would just suggest that it not be the only way we mark this Memorial Day.

Maybe this Memorial Day, as we enjoy the company of family and friends at a host of activities that bring us all great joy and pleasure, we will each take a moment to remember those who died on the beaches of Normandy and on the battlefields of Europe, Korea, the Philippines, and other places too numerous to name. Perhaps we will share with our children the story of those brave men and women who died in the defense of our freedoms.

When we do, may we all pause for a minute to reflect on the blood, sweat and tears they shed, and to offer a silent word of thanks and even say a prayer for those who never returned home to enjoy for themselves the blessings of liberty they secured for us with their lives.

Memorial Day began as a time to remember those who died in the Civil War and maybe that's a place for us to start. On this Memorial Day may we take a moment to call to mind Abraham Lincoln and the words he spoke on one of the battlefields of that war. May we renew our commitment to those who died and the spirit of our nation as reflected in his words – that they "shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

God bless us, God bless our nation's veterans -- especially our war dead, and most of all, God bless the United States of America.