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Honor the sacrifice of America’s heroes

Published 2:05pm Thursday, May 24, 2012

We certainly would not enjoy the blessings we do here in southwest Michigan if it were not for the selfless courage of America’s service men and women.
Memorial Day is a time for us to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to America, pay tribute to their memory and celebrate everything they fought and died to protect.
The tradition of Memorial Day is more than 140 years old, when it was originally known as Decoration Day. It was started as a time to honor those killed in the Civil War by decorating their graves. After World War I, the day’s observations began to honor those who died in all of America’s wars.
I encourage everyone to do something to honor the brave Americans who fought and died for our great nation.
While there are many ways that we can show our gratitude, decorating the graves of our fallen heroes remains a time-honored heritage. You can join an army of volunteers who will pay their respects this weekend by adorning the final resting place of thousands of service men and women with American flags.
I would like to recognize the families of those who serve for their sacrifices as well. They endure while their son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife preserve our freedoms and spread democracy across the globe. All too often they never return home.
Thankfully many of our heroes do come home safely and can be found right here in southwest Michigan. Thank a veteran for his or her service, and ask them about their fallen friends. Passing down their stories is a profound way to honor their memory.
Most of all, remember the men and women who gave their lives so that we could remain free. Celebrate what they died protecting and remember its true cost.
Our nation remains strong today because of their dedication. It is a debt we can never repay, but one that we can sincerely honor.

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.

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