Senator Jim Carlin (R-Sioux City) provided an inspirational floor speech on Wednesday regarding Senate File 388. The bill designates the segment of U.S. Highway 20 as the “Iowa Patriots Memorial Highway.”
It authorizes the Department of Transportation to erect signs on or adjacent to the highway indicating the designation.
“It was once said that America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels,” Carlin said.
He said the American Legion approached Sen. Waylon Brown (R-Ansgar) and him about renaming the highway. As he thought about it, he recalled the father of a girl who he had dated. The father had fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
“Like any young man, you want to hear the stories,” Carlin said.
One day, he had an opportunity to ask her father about his service.
“As he looked me in the eye, his eyes just instantly welled up with tears and he turned away and he couldn’t bring himself to say a word,” Carlin said. “In that moment you wonder, what images raced through his mind as that question was asked. These men who were so young, he was 18 years old at the time, all those days under the constant stress of enemy fire, seeing their friends die, not having adequate warm clothing, food shortages, shortages on ammunition, and all that they endured for us and how many times that situation has been played out in our history over and over again.
“One of the concerns that the Legion has is they’re really concerned that our young people don’t know or understand the price of freedom. They don’t know what’s been sacrificed. They’re concerned it’s not being taught.
“This bill has two purposes. We hope on some measure it’s a salute, a tip of the hat and a thank-you to those men and women throughout our history who knew the price and responsibility of freedom and paid it. And we also hope that our young people know and understand the price and responsibility of freedom.
“Mr. President, honor is given to whom honor is due and our veterans deserve this honor.”
The bill passed unanimously.