As the holidays draw near and we share special time with friends and loved ones, we remember those who are not with us to join in the season’s traditions.

Many Ohio families are grieving those who gave their lives this past year in defense of freedom while serving our country. A small comfort may come in the form of honor and recognition.

Each year, the Ohio legislature joins together to award the Ohio Military Medal of Distinction to the families of the fallen. The medal ceremony, which this year took place November 15th in the Statehouse, honors those brave men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty. Members from both the Senate and House of Representatives were in attendance for this important observance.

There were 28 Ohio soldiers awarded posthumously for their sacrifices with a starred medal that displays the Great Seal of the State of Ohio. During the joint session, the families sadly, but proudly, made their way towards the Statehouse floor and collected the medal commemorating the courage and gallantry of their loved ones.

Remarks in recognition were given by Speaker of the House William Batchelder, Senate President Tom Niehaus and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor. Towards the end of the ceremony bagpipes played a solemn “Amazing Grace.”

As vice chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, and Representative of the 96th House District , I feel privileged to be a part of this ceremony honoring our local heroes. America is blessed to have men and women who leave their families and homes to fight for our freedom everyday. As their loved ones mourn, we pray for their peace and comfort, especially during a time of year when we gather together and so many memories are fresh in our minds.

The holidays often remind us of family and loved ones who have been killed in the line of duty, and I encourage you to take a moment this Christmas season to remember and pray for the families of those who have died valiantly for our liberty.


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