May 22 2009
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and U.S. Representative John Kline (R-MN), will lead the official Memorial Day Ceremonies at the Normandy American Cemetery in France. On May 24, the members will honor the extraordinary contributions of veterans to our nation at the Normandy American Cemetery. As Ranking Member of the Veteran Affairs Committee, Senator Burr will deliver a speech to commemorate the courage and sacrifice of those who landed at Normandy almost 65 years ago. The members will then lay a wreath in honor of the thousands of American service members who gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy and made possible the liberation of Europe in World War II.
“My father served in the Army Air Corps in World War II in the Pacific theater," said Graham. "I remember very well the pride he took in serving our nation. He always talked about his buddies who didn’t make it home as being the 'real heroes.' I am honored and humbled to be able to spend this Memorial Day in the company of those 'real heroes.' In a far away land, they made the ultimate sacrifice for the nation they loved. We remain thankful for their service and will forever remember their sacrifice."“These veterans, who so selflessly gave of themselves and paid the ultimate price for our country, strengthened the foundation of our grateful nation,” Senator Burr said. “We owe these brave Americans a debt we will never be able to fully repay. I am honored to be able to represent the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the United States Senate, and North Carolina on such hallowed ground.” “Sixty-five years ago, young American men hailing from big cities, sleepy towns and small farms struggled through Normandy’s churning surf amid a hail of gunfire to secure Europe’s freedom. Thousands never came back,” said Chambliss, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I am humbled by their sacrifice and honored to remember them – including 213 Georgians – in this final resting place on the edge of the continent they liberated.” “The freedoms and liberties we cherish on this day are owed to the blood and sacrifice of the veterans buried here,” said Minnesota Congressman John Kline, a 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps who retired at the rank of Colonel. “This Memorial Day, we honor all of those who left us too soon, whose lives were cut short on distant battlefields. We must never forget those true American heroes to whom we owe so much.” The ceremony will highlight the contributions made by our nation’s veterans, many of whom paid the ultimate price in the struggle against tyranny and oppression. # # #