Several North Dakota politicians have offered their thoughts on Memorial Day over the past few days as they prepared to attend ceremonies for the national holiday celebrated each May since the 1800s to honor American soldiers who died while serving their country.
Earlier today, national pollster Rasmussen Reports released findings of a recent phone survey that found Americans still think it’s one of the country’s most important holidays. Nearly half (49 percent) view it as one of the nation’s most important holidays, and 60 percent of adults had plans to celebrate Memorial Day.
Here’s a look at what some of North Dakota’s political figures had to say about Memorial Day:
Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D.
On this Memorial Day, I want to thank our military men and women, who have selflessly served our country, and especially honor those who have given their lives to protect the values our nation stands uponâ€”freedom, liberty, and justice. North Dakota is the proud home to thousands of veterans and service members, two Air Force Bases and numerous Air and Army National Guard posts.Â We have a rich history of service and a legacy of selfless sacrifice. These men and women and their families have made our country what it is today, and we owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be fully repaid.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
On this Memorial Day, we honor all those who answered the call to serve and ultimately gave their lives to protect our nation and preserve our freedom.Â Those brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deserve our undying gratitude and must always remain in our thoughts and our prayers.
Today is also a day to salute America’s veterans and active military personnel.Â We must thank them for their tireless efforts and honorable service to our nation. For we owe each and every one of them our deepest gratitude, today and every day.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Our men and women in uniform serve our nation with courage and devotion. Â On Memorial Day especially, we honor these brave heroes, foremost those who have lost their lives defending our freedoms.Â Our thoughts and prayers are with our fallen soldiers and their loved ones.Â We will always remember their commitment to country and their sacrifices to ensure our freedoms.
Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk (Republican)
On Monday, May 30, our nation will commemorate Memorial Day.Â It is a time when Americans pay special tribute to those who have died in the defense of our country.Â We remember the sacrifices and the valor of those who shed their blood to guarantee that America will remain free.
Memorial Day actually started as Decoration Day following the Civil War.Â In 1967, it was formally changed to Memorial Day.Â Many seniors still call it Decoration Day.Â But, the reason for the day has not changed.Â Decoration Day started as a way to honor those who died, on both sides, in the Civil War, and to begin the healing process, so desperately needed.
We have just lost the last American soldier from World War I, Frank Buckles.Â The heroes of World War II, our greatest generation, are leaving us daily.Â So, it is particularly appropriate that we should go out of our way to honor all who have fallen in battle and those still with us, whose courage and valor saved a world.
Those who gave their lives in Korea, Vietnam, in the Cold War, and in Desert Storm have paid their generations’ cost of freedom.Â Â We remember those who have given their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we are still engaged in deadly conflict.
In short, Memorial Day weekend is far more than just a three day holiday.Â It should be a reminder that it is our responsibility and our duty to keep the torch of liberty always lit.Â The men and women, in uniform today, are carrying on the tradition that started in 1776.Â So, as we honor those who gave their lives for our freedom, let us remember, in our prayers and our actions, our men and women who are paying the price as those who have gone before.