ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in commemoration of Memorial Day:
“As we continue to grapple with one of the most challenging periods many of us have faced in our lifetimes, we should pause on this Memorial Day to reflect on how previous generations of Americans confronted levels of sacrifice and loss that are difficult for us to even comprehend.
“Over the course of our nation’s history, Americans have gone to battle and sacrificed their lives for causes greater than themselves. This year, many families have had to put memorial services and shared grief on hold. Our communities are unable to come together in public ceremonies to honor the memory and legacy of the patriots who gave their lives in service. But we must never forget what these great Americans stood for: the still unfinished work of building a nation where all of us are equal and free.
“This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Allied Victory in Europe and the Pacific, a victory over tyranny, fascism, and oppression. There are fewer Americans left who can tell us what it was like for the Greatest Generation, both those on the warfront and the home front, to face such immense and unthinkable hardships. While still climbing out from the greatest economic crisis our nation had yet faced, and staring down a rise of violence and hateful ideology around the globe, young men and women all across America stepped up to serve their country.
“That included countless New Mexicans: from those who endured the horrors of the Bataan Death March to Navajo Code Talkers, whose secret messages were key to securing victory against Japan, and the research scientists and engineers who came together on a secret mission in Los Alamos to beat Hitler’s Germany in the world-reshaping race to develop nuclear weapons. All of these Americans, many of whom lost their lives, demonstrated incredible ingenuity, perseverance, and resolve.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced each of us to change the way we live our lives in order to protect the lives of our fellow Americans. Yet reflecting on and remembering the men and women who died for us puts much of the difficulties we are facing today into perspective. Our nation is great because of their courage. Let us never forget them. Let us all recommit ourselves to what they fought to create.”