U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) issued the following statement honoring the nation's fallen heroes on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31st:
Memorial Day is a day of commemoration - a time for remembering those servicemen and women who died so that our nation might live. What began as a simple act of placing flowers on the graves of Civil War soldiers has fittingly grown into a day of remembrance. Indeed, Memorial Day represents a sacred moment in the life of our nation - an opportunity to pay homage to our country's war dead and to reflect upon the debt each of us owes to those taken from us all too soon. And we remember especially those sons and daughters of Maine who have perished - their memory will forever speak to the very best of our state and the heights to which selflessness can reach as they embody our state motto 'Dirigo' or 'I lead.'
"This occasion commands an even larger place in our hearts as thousands continue to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the world, exemplifying the highest ideals of our country with phenomenal bravery worthy of our limitless reverence, not just today but every day. In performing their duties - which I've been honored to witness firsthand on visits to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan - our exceptional men and women in uniform epitomize a love of country and a dedication to our defense that engenders the most tremendous pride imaginable. And the fact that they do so at such personal risk makes words difficult to find and harder still to express.
"As we rightly memorialize America's fallen at this solemn juncture, we are mindful that our freedom has been won by their remarkable courage - that the liberties we enjoy stem from their eternal glory, and that their remembrance will, in the venerable words of Daniel Webster, 'be as lasting as the land they honored.' With unending gratitude, we praise all our fallen Americans - and their families - from the bottom of our hearts as we commit ourselves to standing for those cherished tenets for which they died."