Guest Column From Representative Al Landis
Honoring the Sacrifice of Military Members and Their Families
May 29, 2014
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In celebration of Memorial Day, many of us recently spent the day with family and friends enjoying backyard picnics and patriotic parades. In the midst of enjoying the beautiful weather and good company, I trust that you took a moment to remember and honor the fallen patriots for whom this holiday exists.

As vice-chairman of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, I am often working on legislation to connect service members and their families with the benefits they so greatly deserve. However, even in a position where I am working with these issues on a regular basis, it is easy to take for granted the sacrifices these individuals make.

I recently had the privilege of attending a joint-session with my colleagues in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate to honor two fallen Ohio soldiers that died during active duty last year. Their families attended the joint-session to receive the Ohio Military Medal of Distinction in honor of their loved ones. This ceremony is held once a year to pay tribute to Ohioans who have died in service to their country. It was deeply moving to witness the tremendous loss theses families have suffered, and have the opportunity to offer them a small token of gratitude for their sacrifice.

In our day-to-day lives, it is easy to take for granted the freedoms available to all of us. It is much more difficult to keep in mind at what price those freedoms were purchased. While holidays like Memorial Day offer annual reminders of the importance of honoring our military members, I encourage you to make that a more regular practice. From checking in with friends and neighbors who have family members serving overseas, to saying a simple “thank-you” to a veteran that you might pass in the grocery store, there is much that can be done to show our gratitude.

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