Good Morning. This is Senate Democratic Leader Barry Hobbins of Saco.
Memorial Day weekend is a time of remembrance for those who have died in service of our nation and to honor those men and women in service right now.
You know, it is easy, in the fast-paced world of today, to forget about our past and our history.
It is also easy to take for granted our freedom and rights that make the United States of America such a great nation.
On this Memorial Day weekend, we must take time to remember.
We must remember the men and women who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice to this community, to this state, and to this country.
We must remember the families of veterans who have also sacrificed.
It is a day of recognition.
Recognition of a job well done.
Recognition of the true meaning of service.
Recognition of the ultimate sacrifice.
And we recognize that no holiday, no memorial, no parade, no matter how grand and heart felt, can truly provide the level of thanks we owe to the United States Armed Services.
This weekend, I will have the opportunity and privilege to attend a number of Memorial Day events. And, anytime I am in the presence of someone who has served our country, I am truly humbled. Talking with men and women who have given up so much on behalf of others is a special experience.
Only a soldier can tell you what it is actually like to march across a continent, what a weapon feels like when fired, and what it means to put your life on the line for your country.
Understanding that we can never appropriately thank our service men and women does not mean we shouldn’t make every effort to do so.
It’s time to honor our nation’s heroes and renew our commitment to serving those who have worn the uniform of our country as well as they have served us.
In the four years under President Obama’s leadership, support for our veterans has never been greater. We’ve expanded the GI Bill, created the Veterans Jobs Corps, increased incentives to hire and train veterans and military spouses, and made record-breaking investments in the VA.
Here in Maine, the state legislature also made strides to improve the daily lives of our veterans. For example, we established a Veterans’ Treatment Court with specially trained advocates to make sure that any special circumstances facing a veteran, such as PTSD, are understood, and taken into account. We also passed a bill to connect veterans with the services and benefits they are entitled to due to their military service.
We all understand that often times veterans face unique challenges returning to a civilian job. To help with this transition, we passed a couple of measures that may make it easier for returning veterans to get professional licenses based on the training they received in the military.
At the same time, this is not enough. We must continue our commitment to do more—especially when it comes to getting our veterans back work.
This weekend, we will gather to honor the service and sacrifice of the men and woman who so bravely gave their lives in the defense of our freedom. We will rightly offer our thanks and show our appreciation of those who fought in wars, who fought to protect freedom both as an entitlement to every human and the highest ideal of our Democracy.
This is Senate Democratic Leader, Barry Hobbins of Saco. Thank you for tuning in. God Bless.