May 31, 2021
SENATOR PHILLIP WHEELER: APPRECIATE FREEDOM THIS MEMORIAL DAY
At this time last year, we were all experiencing an absence of normality due to COVID-19. At that time, we realized that we had taken many things in our life for granted. Things we do not truly appreciate until they are no longer available. We could not gather with loved ones, spend time with friends, or enjoy the little things in life, such as a dinner at our favorite local restaurant. We are now emerging from the pandemic with a greater sense of appreciation for our precious liberties.
To properly honor the sacrifices of brave service members this Memorial Day, we should enjoy our freedoms with a heart of gratitude, never again taking for granted all we have been given. How fortunate are we to live as citizens of both the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We owe it to those who laid down everything they have to preserve our great nation and strengthen it.
Memorial Day was established to honor those who perished in the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history. In the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to fallen soldiers, decorating graves, and praying together. These are traditions that remain with us today. Originally known as “Decoration Day,” Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. In May 2000, a “National Moment of Remembrance” was established as an opportunity for citizens to join together and memorialize the brave servicemen and women. They have lost their lives in the line of duty. This Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time, citizens across the United States are encouraged to pause for a moment of silence to honor our fallen heroes. We also honor the families of these heroes who live on and continue to preserve the memories of their loved ones. Families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty are known as “Gold Star Families.”
In memory of our fallen heroes, may we all appreciate the blessings of freedom like never before. President John F. Kennedy once said:
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”
It is my honor to serve as your State Senator. My family and I wish you and your family a safe and blessed Memorial Day Weekend.
Note: Senator Phillip Wheeler (R-Pikeville) represents Kentucky’s 31st State Senate District, which includes Elliott, Lawrence, Martin, Morgan, and Pike Counties. Senator Wheeler is Vice-Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor. He also serves as a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Transportation, Natural Resources and Energy, Judiciary, and State and Local Government. Additionally, he is a member of the Capital Planning and Bond Oversight Statutory Committee. For a high-resolution .jpeg of Senator Wheeler, please visit: https://legislature.ky.gov/Legislators%20Full%20Res%20Images/senate131.jpg