Reflecting on Memorial Day

FRANKFORT, KY – Memorial Day is a significant holiday in the state of Kentucky in a variety of ways. Broadly, it is the unofficial kickoff to summer with the school year winding down, vacationers descending in droves to our lakes and rivers, and warm weather and sunshine becoming the norm. While many use this holiday as a time to travel back to their hometowns for reunions and family cookouts, others use it as a time to pay respect to their lost loved ones by taking flowers to their gravesites.

Most importantly, Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember the countless men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces as they defended and protected our liberties. Memorial Day began following the Civil War and was originally called Decoration Day because Americans decorated soldiers’ graves with flowers each year. Following WWI, the day took on a new significance, and all of America’s wars were from then on included in the holiday.

Here in Kentucky, we have a unique and rich history in military service to the U.S. dating back to the War of 1812, and many of us have served or have family members who have served in the Armed Forces. In most of our communities across the state, there are statues and memorials dedicated to those who sacrificed their lives while defending freedom and liberty.

As a member of the Kentucky General Assembly, I am humbled that I was elected to represent the voters and to pass and vote on laws through our unique democratic system of government. It is not lost on me that the lives sacrificed in service to the United States were given to ensure that our government remains “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” as President Lincoln said.

This Memorial Day, as you enjoy family barbecues with friends and loved ones, take a few moments to think about the price paid for our freedoms and liberties by millions since the foundation of the United States. I encourage you to attend a Memorial Day service in your community and share in the unique lives and stories of these brave men and women. I promise you will not regret it! Please have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.