Begich Statement for Memorial Day 2012
The following is a statement from U.S. Sen. Mark Begich to mark Memorial Day 2012. Sen. Begich serves on both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee:
“General Norman Schwarzkopf once said, ‘It does not take a hero to send men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men going into battle.’
“Today, on Memorial Day, we come together to recognize and honor those heroes who have sacrificed all in the name of freedom and democracy. Ordinary men and women who were asked to do extraordinary things.
“Over the nearly 150 years that we have come together on this day, one fact remains unchanged, this freedom we cherish is not free and comes with a tremendous price; a price born by our veterans, past and present.
“There is simply no greater service to one’s country or no greater act of heroism, than to stand between our nation and those who would do us harm.
“So, today as we pause to remember those heroes who have given that last full measure of devotion, let us also take a moment to say thank you to those currently serving our great nation.
“Men and women such as those from the 1st Stryker Brigade who have just returned from battle in Afghanistan; returned with hundreds wounded and with 21 warriors that made the ultimate sacrifice.
“And those from the 4th Brigade Combat Team Airborne and from our Alaska Army and Air National Guard who are presently on the ground in Afghanistan.
“And let us not forget those veterans among us that we call the Greatest Generation, the veterans who served during one of the most defining moments in history, World War II.
“Memorial Day 2012 also brings with it special significance for Alaska. It is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Dutch Harbor which signaled the beginning of a long and bloody campaign in the Aleutian Islands.
“To all of our service men and women and veterans; we will never forget your service and the service of your families. We will remain eternally grateful.
“Thank you and God bless the United States of America.”