By: Senator Mike Nozzolio
In 1966, when Waterloo, New York was officially declared as the birthplace of Memorial Day, one of the most honored and celebrated traditions in our Nation's history had a permanent home.
Memorial Day serves as a powerful reminder that freedom is not free, but paid for with courage, valor and sacrifice. No nation in the history of the world has ever done more or given more in the defense of world freedom than the United States and its citizens.
As the New York State Senator representing the birthplace of Memorial Day, I firmly believe that we have no greater obligation than to honor and acknowledge our veterans for the countless sacrifices they have made to protect our freedom and defend our Nation.
In a world so technologically advanced that we can actually watch war live on our TV's and computers, today’s generation can perhaps better understand the significance of the sacrifices our veterans have made on behalf of their country.
Our Nation is on high alert. As evidenced by the recent bombing in Boston, the threat of terrorism in our Country still exists. We must continue to be vigilant in protecting our homeland and protecting our citizens.
These difficult times serve to remind us that we live in the greatest country in the world – the land of the free and the home of the brave. We must never forget how blessed and fortunate we are to be Americans.
We need to take time to thank our Nations veterans, to thank them for their sacrifices, and to thank them for their service to our Nation in defense of freedom and liberty.
Each Memorial Day is important. This one especially, as we have men and women who are serving across the world in harm’s way. We need to thank our men and women in uniform for their sacrifices and commitment to the United States of America.
With thousands and thousands of veterans returning home from military duty, we must be prepared for their return and ensure that they receive the care and services they deserve. We must work to ensure that they receive the health care services they need.
We must also recognize and commemorate the lives of the brave soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
On Monday, May 27th, there will be a ceremony at the Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Romulus to honor our brave servicemen and women and to pay tribute to the service and sacrifices of the more than 100 veterans that have been laid to rest at the cemetery.
The Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery is located on the hallowed ground of the former Sampson Naval and Air Force bases, where over one million sailors and airmen trained in preparation for battle to defend the United States of America. The Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery was dedicated on July 30, 2011 and is the final resting place for over 100 veterans and their family members. The Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery is located in Romulus, a tremendously beautiful setting on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, and within the shadow of the nationally recognized birthplace of Memorial Day in Waterloo.
And should anyone ever ask you where can we find American heroes this Memorial Day: please tell them that just a few short miles from you, in the heart of the Finger Lakes, there is a place where heroes are gathered, to be known forever as Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
On this Memorial Day, we remember those heroes who did not return. We show our gratitude to those who did, and we honor and thank all of our veterans for their dedication and service. It is my hope that you will join me in recognizing these courageous individuals for the sacrifices they make each and every day.
When a soldier is alive they belong to their family. When a soldier falls they belong to us all.
For more information regarding upcoming Memorial Day events, please visit my website at www.nozzolio.nysenate.gov or facebook page.