Memorial Day is upon us and people across the country will take time to remember the generations of young men and women who have laid down their lives in defense of our freedom. From the fallen patriots who won our independence at the start of this great nation, to the fallen Americans who lost their lives fighting in present-day conflicts around the world, members of the military have risked it all so that we may be free.
While these men and women are no longer in our midst, we can honor the fallen by taking care of the soldiers still with us.
Generous citizens in our state have found ways to honor those among us who have bravely risked life and limb. One of the most obvious examples of this generosity is the South Dakota Honor Flight program. Thanks to business and individual donations and hands-on volunteer work, over 1,000 South Dakota World War II veterans have received an all-expense paid trip to our nation’s Capitol to experience the war memorial that has been built to honor their selfless service.
I have had the great honor of meeting many of the Honor Flight participants and volunteers, sometimes in South Dakota at the airport to send them off or welcome them home, and other times in Washington, D.C. as they visited the various monuments they traveled to see.
After many successful trips, the South Dakota Honor Flight will take one last trip to the World War II Memorial this summer.
This Memorial Day, let us not only remember those who have fought for our freedom and liberty, but let us make a commitment to honor our living heroes throughout the entire year in our thoughts, prayers, and actions.