The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Fargo National Cemetery will host its inaugural virtual Memorial Day event Monday, May 25. Following is the text of U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson's remarks for this event. The remarks have been lightly edited for publication today.
Thank you for inviting me to help honor our fallen heroes.
Even though we aren’t able to gather in person, we still share a solemn responsibility to honor the sacrifice of all the men and women who’ve served our country in war and in peace.
Memorial Day is our moment to remember the tremendous service and the ultimate sacrifice made by so many men and women in service to our country.
This Memorial Day, we commit to remembering their achievements, their courage and their dedication, as a way to say thank you for their sacrifice.
A veteran’s sacrifice never expires -- their service to this country does not end on the battlefield, and it doesn’t end when they come back home. It lives on, even after they’re gone.
In the same way, our duty to care for our veterans does not end either.
Instead, it comes with a responsibility to honor our fallen heroes’ legacies, to care for their surviving family members, and ensure all those that served our country get the care, benefits, and recognition they’ve earned.
Today, we must commit to more. We owe our veterans more.
As a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am working to ensure their service is never forgotten. We have a commitment to our veterans from the time they leave the service until they reach their final resting place.
I am on the Veterans’ Affairs committee to make sure that veterans are protected and cared for at all times, but especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
As Americans we are proud of the service and sacrifice our veterans have made for our country -- but this Memorial Day, it’s time we match this pride with action.
We must ensure our veterans get the health care they’ve earned and deserve.
We must ensure they have the tools they need to transition into civilian life.
We must ensure our veterans and their families get the benefits they fought for.
And most importantly, we must ensure that we never forget their service and that we honor their legacy with action.
Thank you for your service and may all of our fallen rest peacefully.