Let us not take freedom for granted

Published 8:19 am Friday, May 28, 2021

BY SENATOR RICK GIRDLER (R-SOMERSET), 15TH DISTRICT

At this time last year, we were all experiencing an absence of normality due to COVID-19. At that time, we realized that we had taken many things in our life for granted. Things we do not truly appreciate until they are no longer available. We could not gather with loved ones, spend time with friends, or enjoy the little things in life, such as dinner at our favorite local restaurant. We are now emerging from the pandemic with a greater sense of appreciation for our precious liberties.

To properly honor the sacrifices of brave service members in light of the recent Memorial Day holiday, we should enjoy our freedoms with a heart of gratitude, never again taking for granted all we have been given. How fortunate are we to live as citizens of both the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We owe it to those who laid down everything they have to preserve our great nation and strengthen it.

Memorial Day was established to honor those who perished in the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history. In the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to fallen soldiers, decorating graves, and praying together. These are traditions that remain with us today. Originally known as “Decoration Day,” Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. In May 2000, a “National Moment of Remembrance” was established as an opportunity for citizens to join together and memorialize the brave servicemen and women. They have lost their lives in the line of duty. This past Monday, at 3 p.m. local time, citizens across the United States paused for a moment of silence to honor our fallen heroes. We also honor families of these heroes who live on and continue to preserve the memories of their loved ones. Families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty are known as “Gold Star Families.”

In memory of our fallen heroes, may we all appreciate the blessings of freedom like never before. President John F. Kennedy once said:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

It is my honor to serve as your State Senator. I hope you and your family enjoyed a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend.

Senator Rick Girdler (R-Somerset) represents the 15th District, including Boyle, Lincoln, and Pulaski counties. Senator Girdler is the co-chairman of the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee. He also serves as vice-chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Banking and Insurance and is a member of the Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee.