Today, on Memorial Day, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a combat veteran who served in the armed forces for over 23 years, recognized the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation—and the families and loved ones they have left behind.
Senator Ernst’s full remarks are below:
“Over the course of our nation’s history, selfless men and women across Iowa and America have chosen to serve and defend our country and the freedoms we cherish.
“Memorial Day is an annual reminder of the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending these great United States.
“It is also a day to recognize that the liberties we so often take for granted do not come without a price.
“For generations, patriots have selflessly laid down their lives to safeguard our freedoms and keep America the greatest, freest nation on the face of the planet.
“As a combat veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom—and over 23 years in our nation’s uniform—I had the honor of serving alongside the best of America—women and men who risked life and limb in the name of our great country and the freedoms we hold so dear.
“I’ve also seen the pain our Gold Star families of the fallen experience. On Memorial Day, we remember those we’ve lost in the cause of our great nation and recognize the burdens of those loved ones who were left behind.
“Each day, I am proud to serve the members of our Armed Forces in the U.S. Senate. And, I recognize the loads they bear by leading ruck marches on the National Mall in Washington D.C., bringing together fellow veterans, service members, colleagues, and staff members to pay tribute to America’s fallen brothers and sisters.
“These marches offer a time for us to reflect on the service and sacrifice of those in our Armed Forces—past and present—and honor their camaraderie and teamwork.
“On this Memorial Day, join me in remembering all of those who gave their lives in defense of our nation—and the families and loved ones they have left behind.
“These heroes will never be forgotten.
“May God bless our troops, our veterans, and their families.”