We should honor our greatest generation

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 24, 2015

Next month we pay tribute to the men and women who fought to bring peace in Europe during World War II. It was 70 years ago on May 8 that Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allies, bringing the seven-year war in Europe to a close.

We honor those who stormed the beaches of Normandy or dropped out of the sky into enemy territory on June 6, 1944. We commend the men who fought bravely on the frozen battlefields of Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge. We extol the men and women who worked tirelessly to care for the injured and sick soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who took part in the small and large battles that waged throughout Europe.

By war’s end, more than 16 million Americans had served in uniform, either in Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean or on island battlefields in the Pacific. When the war in Europe ended, 309,000 Americans had died in the fighting.

Today, surviving World War II veterans number fewer than one million men and women. The average age of veterans who served from 1941 to 1945 is 90.

That means the time we have to show them gratitude for what they did for America — for the world — is running short.

Because I think it’s important that we show these men and women the honors they richly deserve, I am inviting World War II veterans to join me at the state Capitol for our May 7 legislative session. I think it’s important that we show these men and women the honors they richly deserve. I encourage any World War II veterans from the 59th House District to be my guest so the House can show its appreciation for the heroes who did so much to protect democracy throughout the world.

Activities start at 10 a.m. with recognition in the Senate and continue through approximately 1 p.m. Anyone with questions can call my office at 517-373-0832.

If you know of any World War II veterans, pay them a visit. Salute them. Shake their hands. Thank them for serving so long ago so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. They have earned our gratitude and respect.


Aaron Miller is a state representative for Cass and Van Buren counties.