Wyden: While Memorial Day May Look Different This Year, It’s More Significant Than Ever

Here is an excerpt from the full text: “This Memorial Day is going to be a little different. There won’t be the same big gatherings, and there will be fewer parades. 

But that shouldn’t diminish the significance of this day. It shouldn’t take away from our determination to honor those who paid the ultimate price in service to their nation. It shouldn’t cause us to forget that Memorial Day can be hard on the parents, spouses, children and friends that our fallen heroes left behind. 

That’s why this year on Memorial Day, it’s more important than ever to reach out and connect with those folks who are remembering loved ones they’ve lost in the line of duty. To give them a call and ask how they’re holding up, because the last few months in particular have been tough on everybody. And their sacrifice shouldn’t be forgotten. 

It’s also more important than ever to remember for ourselves that as Americans, we owe so much to so many. The parades and the services might have to wait until Memorial Day 2021, but our deep respect and gratitude for sacrifice does not.” 

Video link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tiaOjgjH7E&feature=youtu.be     

Wyden: While Memorial Day May Look Different This Year, It’s More Significant Than Ever  

Oregon’s Senator Ron Wyden came home for this year’s Memorial Day, but before leaving DC, he offered reflective comments on this year’s Memorial Day – here’s the text from his senate floor speech:  

Mr. President, on Monday the nation will celebrate Memorial Day. It’s the day Americans set aside every year to honor those members of the military who have given their lives in service to their country. 

Right around now is typically when I’m getting ready to travel to Southern Oregon – to Eagle Point and Central Point, to spend Memorial Day with hundreds of veterans and members of their families. 

Every year, they are inspiring and affirming events. You have all these Oregonians who are part of a centuries-long lineage of patriots willing to serve and sacrifice for their country. Communities of people coming together to remember lost friends and loved ones. 

This Memorial Day is going to be a little different. There won’t be the same big gatherings, and there will be fewer parades. 

But that shouldn’t diminish the significance of this day. It shouldn’t take away from our determination to honor those who paid the ultimate price in service to their nation. It shouldn’t cause us to forget that Memorial Day can be hard on the parents, spouses, children and friends that our fallen heroes left behind. 

That’s why this year on Memorial Day, it’s more important than ever to reach out and connect with those folks who are remembering loved ones they’ve lost in the line of duty. To give them a call and ask how they’re holding up, because the last few months in particular have been tough on everybody. And their sacrifice shouldn’t be forgotten. 

It’s also more important than ever to remember for ourselves that as Americans, we owe so much to so many. The parades and the services might have to wait until Memorial Day 2021, but our deep respect and gratitude for sacrifice does not. 

Just on a very personal note, Mr. President, apropos of the respect and gratitude for sacrifice, I think about my late father and my mother, both of whom fled the Nazis. Not all our family got out. My Great Uncle Max was one of the last who was gassed in Auschwitz. My father basically talked his way into our army because he was a fluent young man in German and he convinced our military that he could be part of our propaganda unit to drop the pamphlets on the Nazis, making it clear that they could never defeat our great troops. My mother, on the other hand, was a WAC and I look often at the picture on my wall of my mother in her WAC uniform. 

And for them, during their lives, Memorial Day was a really special day because they were so thrilled to be able to come to the freest and most open nation on earth to be able to serve in our military. They in particular would say, Ron, this is a special day for showing our deep respect and gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and we are never going to miss a Memorial Day without expressing that sentiment. 

So Mr. President, I am going to be thinking this weekend about how much I want to be back to Eagle Point and Central Point to celebrate Memorial Day. And I’m going to be thinking about how now we’ve got to find a way to honor and remember our fallen service members a little differently than before. 

So I would just close, I think I can speak for every member of the Senate that this is especially important now to keep all those who’ve died serving this country in our hearts, and let’s do right by their families who are still with us. 

I wish all Oregonians, and people around the country, a healthy Memorial Day.   

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