May 27, 2011
In celebrating Memorial Day on Monday, people across America will take time to keep alive a long tradition of ceremonial recognition for loved ones and heroes. Communal remembrance of those who have gone before us is a longstanding human tradition.
Memorial Day in America began with what was called "Decoration Day" following the Civil War. It was designated as a time to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead with flowers. The day selected was May 30, a time in late Spring when flowers would be in bloom across the nation.
In keeping with this special remembrance, the act of commemorating all war veterans who have sacrificed on the behalf of America is particularly meaningful and appropriate. American troops have been and continue to be steadfast, selfless, and undeterred in their service.
In our military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan, we continue to suffer from the loss of life in war. It is our duty as Americans to honor the memories of our fallen soldiers with the highest esteem and keep their stories alive for generations to come.
It is important that we take time - not only on Memorial Day - but regularly to remember those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country, and honor and support those who continue to put themselves in harm's way on behalf of the well-being of America. I am proud of the fact that there will be so many Memorial Day remembrances across Nebraska communities.
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day.