As the month of May winds down, Americans across the nation and overseas will soon be observing Memorial Day. On May 30th, we all have the opportunity to honor our fallen military heroes. These courageous individuals gave their lives in service to our country so that we can continue to live in a nation built on the ideals of democracy and freedom. Through their ultimate sacrifice, our servicemen and women have safeguarded the fundamental rights that we enjoy today. From the deserts of Afghanistan to the shores of Normandy, our military members have given of themselves to ensure that the rest of us can live in freedom.

Each time I walk into the Statehouse, I could not be prouder to represent Ohioans and the democratic values that we all so cherish. I am extremely humbled when I remember that my representation is only possible because of the men and women who lost their lives defending our liberty. Our government by the people and for the people relies on the selflessness and bravery of those in all of our military branches. This Memorial Day, we can express our gratitude by honoring these fallen soldiers from throughout history.

Sometimes it seems that there is no adequate way to recognize the monumental sacrifice of these young men and women. While we can hold vigils and reflect upon lives taken too soon, there are simple ways in which we can honor them, not just on Memorial Day, but throughout the year. While we will not be able to match the magnitude of their actions, we can preserve their legacy by exercising our rights as Americans.

The small act of casting a vote or attending a town hall meeting can show our appreciation and respect. Through civic engagement, we can uphold American democracy. These simple actions display pride and respect for the armed forces lost in combat. By becoming involved in our communities, we are acknowledging the importance and gravity of our hard-won freedoms.

In this patchwork country filled with diversity, there are many ways to show our patriotism. From Nevada to New York to our own state of Ohio, we celebrate our American heritage with different traditions. However, on May 30th, every American shares a common national tradition in observing Memorial Day. There is no greater way to express your love of democracy than by honoring our courageous fallen soldiers. Please join me and our community in paying tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedom.


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