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Happy Memorial Day

Each Memorial Day our country honors the men and woman who have given their lives while serving this great nation.

Those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom were husbands, wives and children of our fellow Americans. We commemorate their service and grieve with the families they left behind.

It is fitting to pause this last Monday in May, before our summer vacations and holidays begin, to reflect on the notion that our freedom to vacation, to enjoy time with family and friends, would be dramatically different had the millions of military men and women not given their lives for our freedom.

The countless graves at military cemeteries remind us that freedom is never free. It comes at a tremendous cost.  Ordinary people fill those graves. Those sacrifices continue today as those serving in our Armed Forces continue to put their lives on the line to fight for our nation.  When one of our own young heroes is lost, we grieve with their families. When one of our own returns home safely we celebrate.

As Americans we have a continuing commitment to our veterans and their families.  When these soldiers took an oath to protect our country at all costs, we made a commitment to honor their service equally. The VA scandals we are reading about today are inexcusable violations of that trust.

In the Gettysburg address, President Abraham Lincoln spoke of the unmatched bravery of our countrymen and reminded us that in their deeds, these heroes speak to the importance of freedom, more eloquently than those of us still living ever could.

When Memorial Day is over and the flags are taken down, let’s remember to treasure the courage and commitment of the countless men and women throughout our history who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

May God bless our military and God bless America.
Senator Berryhill represents the counties of Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, parts of Sacramento and Tuolumne.