From the Desk of Senator Jack M. Martins

Jack M. Martins

May 24, 2013

You Can Pay a Beautiful Tribute This Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and while it affords us a wonderful opportunity to gather with family and friends, let’s take some time to reflect on what this holiday is really about -- remembering and honoring those who sacrificed their lives for this great country.

Most people don’t realize that New York is home to approximately 986,000 veterans. Almost 80,000 of them live in Nassau County. And currently, there are more than 16,000 New York National Guard members actively serving in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain, and parts of Africa. All of these soldiers, past and present, dedicated themselves to more than just defending our country; they fought to preserve the ideals of freedom and democracy.

Those who fought can be proud of all they have achieved. But they carry with them the memory of those who did not live to be called veterans. At cemeteries across our country, Memorial Day offers us the opportunity to appreciate the privilege of being an American and to acknowledge a debt that is beyond our power to repay.

Our veterans need to know how we feel. Before you indulge in the weekend’s festivities, I urge you to please consider participating in this beautiful act of service for our fallen heroes.

The Long Island National Cemetery at 2040 Wellwood Ave. in Farmingdale is calling for volunteers on Saturday, May 25th at 7 a.m. to place 287,000 flags at the cemetery. Every grave site will be honored in a Memorial Day tribute to the nation's fallen servicemen and women. They also need volunteers on Saturday, June 1st at 8.a.m. to retrieve the flags. Please call (631) 454-4949 to learn more.

We are strengthened by the courage and dedication of our veterans. This Memorial Day, be sure to give them your personal thanks.