"Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." --John Adams
Dear Friends and Constituents of District 26,
Lest we never forget the sacrifices of our Nation’s heroes who have given their lives for the United States of America from the beginning in the days of the Founders to today in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. From the struggle for liberty in the Revolutionary War, to the devastating casualties in World Wars I and II, to Korea and Vietnam, to our current conflicts and all other wars in all parts of the world where our American servicemen and women fought and died, we take time today to remember their lives, sacrifices and deaths over the history of our United States.
It was these brave and visionary men and women who gave us the very Nation we live in today. Our liberty, so hard fought for, must never be taken for granted. As President Ronald Reagan stated:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Our Nation’s remembrance of these brave souls began after the Civil War and was called Decoration Day, where the graves of the fallen soldiers were decorated with flowers to honor their service and death for their country. Today, we continue in this tradition in remembrance and appreciation of those who have fallen.
President Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg give us a foundation for remembering these valiant heroes:
"…. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This weekend, we participate in Memorial Day services and decorate the graves of these heroes with flowers and flags. The United States flag will be lowered to half-staff in tribute of the lives of more than one million men and women who gave their lives for our Nation. At noon, the flag will be raised once again with great pride in celebration of their lives and the value of their sacrifices to our Nation, past, present, and future. The raised flag serves a symbol of our dedication to continue in their spirit and fight for the preservation of our liberty.
During my 30 years of service to our Nation, classmates and members of my units have lost their lives in their defense of our liberty, freedoms, and way of life. It is because of our Country’s greatness that we fight to preserve it against those who seek to take them from us. The oath of office I took is the oath by which I live today:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
In the 83rd Legislative Session, I authored and sponsored a bill to establish a symbol of the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for this country while wearing the uniform of our military services. The “Honor and Remember” flag is to be flown on days designated to honor our veterans and when a Texan loses his or her life while serving on active duty. The flag’s design as you see pictured is distinctive and simple. Each detail on the flag symbolizes the overall meaning of the flag’s message: (PICTURE of the FLAG)
The Red Field represents the blood spilled by brave men and women in America’s military history, who gave their lives so that our nation would remain free.
The White Field below the gold star recognizes the purity of sacrifices. There is no greater price an American can pay that to give his or her life in service to our country.
The Blue Star represents active duty service in military conflict. This symbol originated with World War 1, but on this flag it signifies service in all wars from the American Revolution to the present.
The Gold Star signifies the ultimate sacrifice of a warrior in active service who will not return home. Gold reflects the value of the life that was given.
The Folded Flag signifies the final tribute to an individual life presented to the family for their significant loss.
The Flame is an eternal reminder of the spirit that has departed this life yet burns on in the memory of all who knew and loved the fallen hero.
I ask that you all join me and take a moment at noon on Monday, May 27th, to pray for the families of those lost and remember the sacrifices of the men and women who died in their day to preserve the future of our Nation for the rest of us.
List of Memorial Services:
Saturday, May 25th—Memorial Service in the Chamber of the Texas House of Representatives to pay tribute and honor our fallen heroes.
Monday, May 27th –Sugar Land’s Memorial Day Ceremony with exhibits and music beginning at 10:00 am and the Official Ceremony to commence at 11:00 am. Located at the Sugar land Memorial Park, 15300 University Blvd.
Tuesday, May 28th—Saluting Our Heroes at the Sugar Land Skeeters Game. Ceremony begins at 6:00 pm with Rep. Rick Miller throwing out the first pitch 6:45 and the game beginning at 7:00 pm.
130 Industrial Blvd.