From Senator Chuck Grassley

Written by Theresa Rose on May 26, 2019

For as long as I can remember, Memorial Day has been a day for families, friends and neighbors to share collective grief and gratitude for the profound sacrifice our hometown heroes made to keep us safe. From a young age, I recall local members of veteran service organizations participating in the Presentation of Colors, watching a Rifle Salute to the Fallen and listening to the majestic notes of Taps in solemn observance of our fallen heroes. Close-knit communities across America observe the national day of mourning with patriotic music, flag memorials, grave site ceremonies and neighborhood parades to honor and remember those who died in service to our nation. Since the American Revolution, hundreds of thousands of men and women in uniform have died at home and around the world in service to our country, defending the cherished blessings of freedom and liberty from one generation to the next. They have taken up arms to uphold peace and prosperity, defeat tyranny and protect our values and way of life. As a nation, we are called to honor these brave patriots and share in the sorrow of loved ones left behind. For them and all those called to serve in the Armed Forces, we owe a debt of gratitude. To be sure, President Abraham Lincoln cut to the heart of the matter and called upon the living to advance the cause “for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” It is our duty as Americans to carry out the mission our 16th president shared with historic clarity on November 19, 1863. From the scarred battlefields in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the president’s message — delivered in just ten sentences — guides us in our annual observance of Memorial Day. We must stay resolved so those who die in service to our country “shall not have died in vain … and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”