By CHAD ABSHIRE
Two West Virginia congressmen and the secretary of Veteran’s Affairs released statements on the importance of Memorial Day.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that Memorial Day was “a special day to reflect on the courageous service of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and to whom we are eternally grateful.”
“Showing our appreciation is something we should do each and every day, but on Memorial Day, we as a nation can come together to just say thank you,” Manchin said. “The freedoms we enjoy – and the freedoms we will pass on to our children – are ours because the men and women whose lives have been lost defending this great nation and because of those who are serving today.
“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our service-members and their families for their sacrifice, this Memorial Day and every day.”
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) also spoke on the importance of the day and the country’s veterans. He spoke at the Good News Mission Memorial Dedication in Meadow Bridge.
“Their sacrifices of life and limb, health and safety and forgiveness are ones we can never repay but we darn well better never quit trying to honor them in thoughts, prayers and deeds,” Rahall, a senior member of the House Military Veterans Caucus, said.
“The men and women who have put themselves in harm’s way for us under our nation’s colors must not be denied the benefits and care that they were promised in return for their military service. Whether it is cutting through red tape to facilitate medical care and support services that our returning soldiers have earned and deserve, or working with the Department of Veterans affairs to provide more resources to our VA Medical Centers and clinics for our veterans in small towns, I am fighting hard against budget cuts that would harm our military retirees and veterans, as well as opposing changes to the military retirement system that would increase health care costs.”
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said: “As we, in the Department of Veterans Affairs, go about our duties of providing America’s living Veterans the care, benefits, and services they have earned, let us also remember the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.
“Their powerful legacy surrounds us each and every day all across this nation - when we gather openly to speak our minds freely.”