Since the founding of our country, over 1 million men and women in the armed forces have sacrificed their lives in time of war.
This Memorial Day, we encourage Arkansans to remember that this weekend is about much more than the unofficial beginning of summer. It is a day to remember.
Arkansans have a proud history of serving their country. Today our state is home to more than 260,000 veterans.
During WWI, over 71,000 soldiers who served were from Arkansas. Out of those soldiers, 2,183 lost their lives.
Close to 10% of our state’s population served in WWII. Of the 194,000 Arkansas soldiers serving in various branches of the military, 3,519 were killed as a result of combat.
We are reminded every day at the Capitol of the lives lost in Vietnam. A memorial on the grounds lists the names of the 600 soldiers killed in combat.
Since September 11th, 142 men and women from Arkansas have lost their lives serving our country.
The numbers of our fallen heroes are not just statistics. They are real people, with real families, who lived in real communities.
We can best honor their sacrifice by remembering their families, who have lost so much.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has posted a link to all ceremonies at all veteran’s cemeteries across the country. You can find the one nearest you by visiting www.cem.va.gov.
And if you cannot make it to a ceremony, there is a way all of us can pay a small tribute. In an effort to help remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, Congress passed the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution in December 2000. It asks that at 3pm all Americans pause whatever they are doing for a moment of silence and remembrance.
We owe it to the heroes that died and the loved ones left behind to make sure that their sacrifices are remembered and that their service to this nation always be honored.