Honoring our veterans
President Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men, and so it must be daily earned and refreshed–else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”
Memorial Day weekend is approaching. As you head towards Monday, please remember the brave men and women who fight for our freedom everyday. These great Americans–including many local patriots–have made and continue to make many sacrifices for our freedom. It’s important that we show them our gratitude.
In honor of our fallen veterans, please support our veteran’s organizations. The Minnesota VFW’s mission is to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts, serve our veterans, the military, and our communities and advocate on behalf of all veterans. If you would like to donate to the Minnesota VFW, visit their website www.vfw.state.mn.us and click on “Donate to the Department of MN VFW Today.”
The American Legion is the nation’s largest veteran’s service organization. They are committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans. Visit the Minnesota American Legion’s website (www.mnlegion.org) to see how you can help their organization.
The Minnesota National Guard Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program is working to change the way our Soldiers and Airmen are reintegrated back to their communities. If you would like to help this cause, you can adopt a unit, connect with service members through cards, cookies or care packages, or assist a local family. Visit their website (www.btyr.org/home) and click on “Make a Difference” to find out more.
One piece of legislation I introduced this session is the Oakdale City Hall Veterans Memorial construction grant. If passed, the grant would help the city of Oakdale construct a veteran’s memorial located directly to the east of Oakdale City Hall at Richard Walton Park. The memorial would include a brick retaining wall, topped with a decorative wrought iron fence, a landscaped area, engraved stone panels that recognize each branch of the armed services, three flag poles, a water feature, and would be illuminated at night.
Salute our Veterans! Show your pride in our country and your gratitude for the men and women that dedicated their lives to protecting it. I would like to close with a poem to remind us of the many brave men and women veterans we have lost.
“Eulogy for a Veteran”
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the Gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions about any issue. Please visit my Senate website at senate.mn/senatorwiger. I also encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?,” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16.