Our AG Candidates Memorial Day Statements
I received statements from my man Brownlee and Cooch. I want to share them both for a couple reasons. One being the content of the statements and the other being the differences....At least I see a difference. Here is Cooch's:
Dear Fellow Virginians,
As we return from the beach or just from the backyard this Memorial Day, let's all take a moment and reflect on who we honor this day.
We honor those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who day in and day out put their lives on the line so we can practice this great experiment called Democracy.
We especially honor those who are forever in their country's gratitude - those who never made it home. We honor those buried in far away lands and here at home....who died defending freedom. Over 1,000,000 Americans have died fighting in her wars, and they count on us to carry on their legacy.
We also honor the families these brave souls left behind.
I hope we all find some time to visit a Memorial Day ceremony - and pay tribute. I am just back from attending, as I do every year, the Memorial Day ceremony at the Burke VFW Post. And if you can't make it to a ceremony - please take a moment and pause in prayer and thanksgiving.
As you say your prayer, please also remember those who have been wounded and disabled during their service.
For those who live in Northern Virginia, if you or your business is willing to support the VFW and its efforts on behalf of veterans and their families, the Burke Post of the VFW is having a golf fundraiser at Twin Lakes Golf Course next Sunday, May 31st, and they still need some $100 hole sponsors. If you're willing to help them out - and I hope many of you are - just email the Post Commander, Dave Meyers, at David.Meyers@mris.com and let Dave know.
I hope every one of you enjoy your Memorial Day!
Here is Brownlee's statement. Can you see and feel the difference in the statements? I do.
From the bravery of the men at Valley Forge, to the daring of Normandy, the courage of Iwo Jima and the steady resolve in Afghanistan and Iraq, our men and women in uniform have won for us every hour that we live in freedom. ~ President George W. Bush, Memorial Day 2003
With its origins dating back to the conclusion of the War Between the States, we Americans pause each year on the last Monday in May to remember our fallen heroes.
I've been thinking this morning of a memorial service I attended not long ago in Bland County for Air Force Tech Sgt. Phillip Myers. Myers served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and lost his life serving our nation in early April.
WSLS in Roanoke ran a story about the service; you can watch it here.
The men and women serving our nation today in Iraq and Afghanistan truly are a special breed of hero. None were drafted; all volunteered to serve. Their performance in some of the harshest environments on our globe has been remarkable. They have put their lives on the line not just to preserve our freedoms, but to help others have the opportunity to experience the freedoms we Americans enjoy.
According to reports, Virginia alone has lost approximately 150 men and women in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan's Operation Enduring Freedom. Please take the time to pray for the families and friends of these fallen warriors, and pray that our nation will always have such heroes ready to serve when they are needed.
As has often been the case lately, I found myself truly inspired by words spoken by Ronald Reagan. For me, this speech -- his 1986 Memorial Day address -- sums up this day. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
May God bless our nation and its fallen heroes.
ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, MEMORIAL DAY 1986
Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It's a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others.
It's a day to be with the family and remember. I was thinking this morning that across the country children and their parents will be going to the town parade and the young ones will sit on the sidewalks and wave their flags as the band goes by. Later, maybe, they'll have a cookout or a day at the beach. And that's good, because today is a day to be with the family and to remember. Arlington, this place of so many memories, is a fitting place for some remembering.
So many wonderful men and women rest here, men and women who led colorful, vivid, and passionate lives. There are the greats of the military: Bull Halsey and the Admirals Leahy, father and son; Black Jack Pershing; and the GI's general, Omar Bradley. Great men all, military men.
But there are others here known for other things. Here in Arlington rests a sharecropper's son who became a hero to a lonely people. Joe Louis came from nowhere, but he knew how to fight. And he galvanized a nation in the days after Pearl Harbor when he put on the uniform of his country and said, "I know we'll win because we're on God's side.''
Audie Murphy is here, Audie Murphy of the wild, wild courage. For what else would you call it when a man bounds to the top of a disabled tank, stops an enemy advance, saves lives, and rallies his men, and all of it singlehandedly. When he radioed for artillery support and was asked how close the enemy was to his position, he said, "Wait a minute and I'll let you speak to them.''
Michael Smith is here, and Dick Scobee, both of the space shuttle Challenger. Their courage wasn't wild, but thoughtful, the mature and measured courage of career professionals who took prudent risks for great reward -- in their case, to advance the sum total of knowledge in the world. They're only the latest to rest here; they join other great explorers with names like Grissom and Chaffee.
Oliver Wendell Holmes is here, the great jurist and fighter for the right. A poet searching for an image of true majesty could not rest until he seized on "Holmes dissenting in a sordid age.'' Young Holmes served in the Civil War. He might have been thinking of the crosses and stars of Arlington when he wrote: "At the grave of a hero we end, not with sorrow at the inevitable loss, but with the contagion of his courage; and with a kind of desperate joy we go back to the fight.''
All of these men were different, but they shared this in common: They loved America very much. There was nothing they wouldn't do for her. And they loved with the sureness of the young. It's hard not to think of the young in a place like this, for it's the young who do the fighting and dying when a peace fails and a war begins.
Not far from here is the statue of the three servicemen -- the three fighting boys of Vietnam. It, too, has majesty and more. Perhaps you've seen it -- three rough boys walking together, looking ahead with a steady gaze. There's something wounded about them, a kind of resigned toughness. But there's an unexpected tenderness, too. At first you don't really notice, but then you see it. The three are touching each other, as if they're supporting each other, helping each other on.
I know that many veterans of Vietnam will gather today, some of them perhaps by the wall. And they're still helping each other on. They were quite a group, the boys of Vietnam -- boys who fought a terrible and vicious war without enough support from home, boys who were dodging bullets while we debated the efficacy of the battle. It was often our poor who fought in that war; it was the unpampered boys of the working class who picked up the rifles and went on the march. They learned not to rely on us; they learned to rely on each other.
And they were special in another way: They chose to be faithful. They chose to reject the fashionable skepticism of their time. They chose to believe and answer the call of duty. They had the wild, wild courage of youth. They seized certainty from the heart of an ambivalent age; they stood for something. And we owe them something, those boys. We owe them first a promise: That just as they did not forget their missing comrades, neither, ever, will we.
And there are other promises. We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.
That, of course, is the lesson of this century, a lesson learned in the Sudetenland, in Poland, in Hungary, in Czechoslovakia, in Cambodia. If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does.
That's the lesson of this century and, I think, of this day. And that's all I wanted to say. The rest of my contribution is to leave this great place to its peace, a peace it has earned.
Thank all of you, and God bless you, and have a day full of memories.
Good stuff from both candidates, but one went above and beyond IMHO. We are blessed to have two great candidates! Come Saturday we will have the one man to support. My vote will go to John Brownlee.