Opinion: Commentary: Observing Memorial Day

Opinion: Commentary: Observing Memorial Day

On Monday, Delegate Krizek gave the following address at the Hollin Hills Memorial Day Observation:

Thank you fellow Hollin Hillers. It is my honor as your neighbor and elected Delegate to the Virginia General Assembly to be speaking to you today at this, the inaugural Hollin Hills Memorial Day Observation. When this community starts a new tradition it often lasts forever! The home and garden tour started in 1953 and the 4th of July picnic has been going on for as long as I can remember, and I’ve lived here since 1974.

And, in Richmond today, at the Virginia War Memorial that looks out over the James River, the Commonwealth of Virginia will be celebrating its 65th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony both in-person and online to honor the nearly 12,000 Virginians since WWII, men and women, who served our country with distinction and made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom.

“Memorial” according to the dictionary is something established to ensure that we do not forget. This Memorial Day, a day like no other, with its somber tenor, allows us to not just remember, but to pay our respect and to honor all of the American soldiers who died in service to our nation, paying with their very lives, for our freedom. These are soldiers from all walks of life: rich and poor, new immigrants to Native Americans, young and old, Black, White, and Brown, men and women -- all our fellow Americans.

Now, people just like us, all over this Commonwealth and our great nation are coming together as we are to dutifully observe the meaning of this day. Without those soldiers’ sacrifices, we would not even be here, nor allowed even to gather like this, let alone have the opportunity to include a flag and wreath-laying ceremony as we will shortly.

If recent history teaches us nothing else, it is that we cannot take our freedom for granted and that we must never forget what those who came before us had to sacrifice to defend our freedom. That is why voting is so sacred and no one should lose that freedom to choose who should lead them. That is why a free press, freedom to worship, and our freedom of speech must never be abridged. And we must continue to fight for equality for all who call our country home. None of these freedoms happen without our soldiers defending them -- those men and women who fought and died for us, like my grandfather who died during WWII and is buried in France, and like many of your parents, uncles and aunts, children, and grandparents who sacrificed for us and our country.

So, let’s take one final moment to observe, honor, and never forget all those patriotic soldiers who are no longer here today, and to salute those veterans still with us.