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Appreciate freedom this Memorial Day

Last Memorial Day, we were all experiencing an absence of normality due to COVID-19. At that time, we realized that we take many aspects of our lives for granted and that we might have a genuine appreciation for these things until they are no longer available. We could not gather with loved ones, worship with our congregations, or spend time with dear friends as we usually would. Even the little things, such as enjoying a meal at our favorite local restaurant, were put on pause. We are now emerging from the pandemic with a greater sense of appreciation for our precious liberties.

To properly honor the sacrifices of brave service members this Memorial Day, we should enjoy our freedoms with a heart of gratitude, never again taking for granted all of which we are blessed. We are fortunate to live as citizens of both the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky and owe our respects to those who laid down everything they have to preserve our great nation and strengthen it.

Memorial Day was established to honor those who perished in the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history. In the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to fallen soldiers, decorating graves, and praying together. These are traditions that remain with us today. Originally known as “Decoration Day,” Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. In May 2000, a “National Moment of Remembrance” was established as an opportunity for citizens to join together and memorialize the brave servicemen and women. They have lost their lives in the line of duty. This Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time, citizens across the United States are encouraged to pause for a moment of silence to honor our fallen heroes. We also remember the families of these heroes. Families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty are known as “Gold Star Families” as they continue to preserve the memories of their loved ones.

In memory of our fallen heroes, let us appreciate the blessings of freedom like never before. President John F. Kennedy once said:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

It is my honor to serve as your State Senator. I wish you and your family a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend.

Senator Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville) represents Kentucky’s 22nd Senate District including Fayette (part), Garrard, Jessamine, Mercer, and Washington Counties. He serves as a member of the Interim Joint Committees on Appropriations and Revenue; Banking and Insurance; and Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations.