In the 60th year of remembrance of Pearl Harbor, with recent movies
such as "Saving Private Ryan", "The Thin Red Line" and "Pearl Harbor" and
many more films honoring heroism, service and dedication to this great
country, may we all stop for a moment and think -- where are these heroes of
war today? Many are in VAs, Nursing Homes and at home -- waiting for a card,
a letter or a visit from you.
As you read the attached pages from the Congressional Record, please always
remember that freedom is not a charity. Also please show all Veterans,
especially those going though mental, emotional and physical problems,
respect. And to Compassion In Action, my father, in his 81st year on this
earth and a DAV from World War II, and I say "We Love You and THANK YOU".
I also ask that we take this Monday, Memorial Day, and every Monday at
3:00P.M. to have a moment of silence, so our hearts and our spirits lift the
veil and there is a free flow between the mental/physical world and the
spiritual world and an even greater flow between the spiritual world and the
It takes all of us to make this world a safe, beautiful place. May our
actions each day contribute to the wealth of love and understanding it takes
to make this happen.
Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515
HON. DAN BURTON OF INDIANA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, May 24, 2001
Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, Memorial Day was established in 1868 to pay tribute to individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice to the United States and their families. The men and women of the armed services of today and yesterday took an oath to uphold and protect the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Those who served in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps have been willing to lay their lives on the line to keep this greatest nation on the earth free. We must never forget the importance of this oath and this sacrifice.
Last year, when Public Law No. 106-579 was signed into law, we reaffirmed the importance of remembering and renewing the legacy of Memorial Day. We as a nation need to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble event the day was intended to be. We can do this by taking greater strides to domestic appreciation for those loyal people of the United States whose values, represented by their sacrifices, are critical to the future of the United States. As a Government, we have a responsibility to raise awareness of and respect for the national heritage, and to encourage citizens to dedicate themselves to the values and principles for which those heroes of the United States died.
As part of this reaffirmation, Congress and the President called on the people of the United States to pause at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day to observe a National Moment of Remembrance. By doing so we honor the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.
Memorial weekend has become the signal in this country that summer has begun. In Indianapolis this weekend we have the great Indy 500 race and festivities. It is a great weekend for Hoosiers. I hope that each American as we go about our holiday weekend will at the very least remember to take that moment on Monday and pause at 3:00 p.m. for a moment of remembrance through prayer, quiet reflection, or meditation.
We have been blessed this week to have a great media focus on the heroes of our armed services. Last Sunday night the James Keach Movie, ``Submerged'' aired on network television. This movie portrayed the heroics of the submariners of our early Navy and told the true story of raising a submarine and saving many of its crew. This Friday the movie ``Pearl Harbor'' will premier in theaters across the nation. I am pleased that these artists have used their talents and efforts to share with the world the stories that are such a vital component of our nation's history.
I am also pleased that we are preparing a sixty-year remembrance event at Pearl Harbor. We are fortunate in the 107th Congress to have heroes among us. The following are members of the House and Senate who served in the armed services during World War II.
From the House of Representatives: CASS BALLENGER, JOHN D. DINGELL, BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, RALPH M. HALL, AMO HOUGHTON, HENRY J. HYDE, JOE MOAKLEY, RALPH REGULA, Norman Sisisky, JOE SKEEN, and BOB STUMP
From the Senate: DANIEL K. AKAKA, JESSE HELMS, ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, DANIEL K. INOUYE, TED STEVENS, STROM THURMOND, and JOHN WARNER.
-- I ask that each of you take a moment to a write, fax or e-mail a note of thanks, to these brave men, who not only served us in World War II but now continue their service to this great country by representing us in either the House of Representative or the Senate. DHB --
As we go about remembering those who died in service, I hope we will also remember those who are still with us. Each month over 38,000 World War II veterans die. Our veterans are our nation's heroes. Whether a Private or a General, combat veteran who served on the front lines, a nurse in a MASH unit, or the quartermaster who was stateside during war--our veterans deserve to be remembered and honored by our country and by each of us. We need to make sure every eligible veteran who goes to a Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital or clinic for medical care is treated with compassion and respect and gets good medical care. We also need to make sure that we do a better job with those whose conditions mean their care is palliative and not curative.
During a Government Reform Committee hearing in October 1999, we learned that the VA had an initiative to improve their hospice programs. We heard from such experts as Dr. Ira Byock and Dr. Judith Salerno as well as Dannion Brinkley who founded Compassion in Action--a non-profit foundation that trains hospice volunteers to serve in VA hospitals. I am pleased that in four short years this organization has been able to train 4,000 hospice volunteers who last year provided 27,000 hours of service to veterans.
Americans who volunteer through Compassion in Action, the American Legion, the Paralyzed Veterans Association, and the many other volunteer service organizations at the VA are also our heroes. Many of these volunteers are veterans as well and continue to serve their country as brigades of volunteers without whom our VA hospitals could not function. I am pleased that our President is continuing the legacy of the Thousand Points of Light by rejuvenating the call to volunteerism and compassion through service.