Welcome to Kern River Valley Cemetery and thank you for being part of this important annual National event. We are here today to honor our fallen heroes, provide support to their families, and never forget what their sacrifice means to our Nation.
Kern River Valley is an especially patriotic place where our military families feel welcome and many of our veterans choose to stay following their service.
You need only look at the Kern River Valley Cemetery’s Veterans Wall to understand how proud this patriotic community is for its fallen heroes.
These men and women answered the call of the nation, and served with pride and purpose to further our nation’s commitment to liberty, peace and freedom. Memorial Day has its roots in Decoration Day, which honored the hundreds of thousands of men and women who died during the Civil War. Participants would decorate the graves of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers with flowers and flags.
I find it fitting that different versions of the original Memorial Day exist, and that many parts of the United States lay claim to this most important day of national remembrance.
Today, in every corner of the United States, millions of people are participating ceremonies just like this one. Similar to the past, participants decorate the graves of our fallen with flags and flowers. We reflect upon those lives that were lost and remember their contributions to our nation’s strength.
And, we recognize the huge debt we owe to these fallen heroes and their families.
Our Armed Forces are the leading force in the pursuit of ensuring our God given Rights remain protected, promoted and a priority.
Proudly and patriotically, I represent a Senate District that is heavily influenced by all of the branches of our military.
I have witnessed the pride in which our military families send their loved ones off to serve our country. I have felt their sorrow at memorial events.
And, I have witnessed the outpouring of love that a grateful public has expressed for the service and sacrifice exhibited the members of our military. We live in the greatest country on earth. And, we live in the greatest country on earth because of the dedication of our military to the protection of our borders and our values.
On this Memorial Day, please join me in praying for our fallen heroes and their surviving family members.
And, also pray for the safety and success of our current servicemen and servicewomen who stand proudly upon the foundation built by their forerunners.
I would like to share a passage from the Bliss Copy of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:
“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Thank you for being here today, and for remembering the lives that were sacrificed to keep our Country safe and free.