May: A Time For Remembering
A Guest Column by State Senator Troy Balderson

Every year, we look forward to the days when the winter weather gives way to the warmer temperatures of spring. May is a month that for many of us marks new beginnings— a time to celebrate graduations, Mother's Day, a time to tend to the flower beds, dust off the lawn mower and cookouts with friends and family. 

But the month of May is also a time to remember. Days have been established at state and national levels reminding us to slow down, commemorate and honor the men and women who have served our country. The second Saturday of the month marks the beginning of National Armed Forces Week, as well as Ohio Warrior Awareness Week. Saturday, May 20th is National Armed Forces Day. And, of course, Memorial Day is this weekend on May 29. 

On this specific holiday, we mourn for all those in our nation’s history who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. The sacrifices of these men and women in uniform were not in the name of the recognition or glory that we rightfully bestow upon them. Their sacrifice was for the protection of our country and our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There is no greater indicator of a true patriot than the willingness to deny self in the name of freedom for others. Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to remember their boldness, their courage and their sacrifice. May we always be beholden to share the solemn reason for this day so the reason for their gift will never be lost on future generations.

Today, the state of Ohio is home to nearly one million military veterans. One million individuals who have chosen to make personal sacrifices in order to protect our country and defend the liberties and freedoms that are hallmarks of our nation. During this weekend, I hope we also make a special effort to thank current and former members of our Armed Forces. They, more than anyone understand the sacrifices of those before them, and still, they serve. When they return home, we not only owe them the highest level of gratitude but also a promise to ensure they are able to enjoy the rights they fought for, without adversity and with access to all the resources they need to successfully re-enter civilian life.

This Memorial Day, I hope you will join me in solemnly commemorating the brave members of the greatest military in the world, whose higher call and honorable service allow us to enjoy all the trademarks of the American life. So as you gather with family and friends, I hope you’ll also make time to visit a nearby cemetery or memorial garden in solemn and grateful tribute to these incredibly brave Americans. Make time to learn their stories and share them. Never Forget.

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