As Americans, it is easy for us to overlook the many blessings and freedoms we hold dear. This Memorial Day should be a time to count the blessings our great nation provides and reflect on the sacrifices our fallen servicemen and servicewomen have made throughout our country’s history.


On Memorial Day, we remember America’s fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. This is an important time to set aside the rush of our daily lives and celebrate the enormous contributions of these heroes.


During a time when our country seems divided, it is essential to remember that our nation has overcome more significant obstacles and challenges than we currently face. Decoration Day, the original name of Memorial Day, started in 1868 after the Civil War, which took the lives of 600,000 Americans. Many citizens began to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers to commemorate their service and sacrifice to our nation.


The name “Memorial Day” was popularized over time and became the official name of the national holiday we celebrate today. In 1968, the United States Congress passed the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act,” which declared that the last Monday of May would be recognized as Memorial Day.


The 1st Congressional District of Kentucky is one of the most patriotic districts in the country. The service and sacrifice of soldiers is often experienced firsthand by those in Western Kentucky. Our district is home to the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery-West, as well as Fort Campbell Army Base, the fourth largest military population in the Army. The 101st Airborne Division, 5th Special Forces Group, and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment are all headquartered at Fort Campbell. I am truly honored to have the privilege of representing Fort Campbell in Congress.


The Kentucky Veterans Cemetery-West in Hopkinsville is Kentucky’s first state veterans cemetery and opened in March of 2004. Since that time, over 5,000 soldiers have been laid to rest at the cemetery. This monument is a firm reminder that the price of our freedom is not free, but rather is paid with the blood, sweat, and tears of courageous soldiers. The same love of country each soldier possesses should be held by all of us who enjoy freedom.


It is imperative that we pass down an appreciation for our freedoms to each generation, in order to ensure our fallen heroes are never forgotten. This Memorial Day, I encourage everyone to remember the patriots who have lost their lives in defense of our great nation.