U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) ask Tennesseans to join them on Memorial Day and everyday in honoring the memory of our nation’s fallen and in giving thanks for the extraordinary sacrifices our fighting men and women endure while serving overseas.
“Memorial Day is a time to stop and reflect on those who loved America so much that they were willing to die for our freedom,” said Alexander. “Our fallen heroes made the ultimate sacrifice and we owe them more than we can ever repay. This includes the 90 Tennesseans who have given their lives while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we pray for them and their families.”
“Like all Americans, I am deeply grateful and humbled by the ultimate sacrifice so many have made and continue to make on behalf of our country,” said Corker. “From the American Revolution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our military men and women have always answered the call of duty, placing the interests of their country above their own. It is their tremendous sacrifices for the sake of freedom we honor on Monday. To the Tennesseans mourning the loss of loved ones, I hope the ceremonies and national outpouring of support will bring some comfort. American freedom has come at a tremendous cost, and it is a gift we can never repay or forget.”
On Wednesday, Alexander and Corker welcomed 112 Tennessee World War II veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The group of veterans from Knox, Anderson, Sevier and Blount counties flew to the nation’s capital to tour memorials constructed in honor of our armed services and view the changing of the guard ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. The all-expense-paid trip was sponsored by HonorAir Knoxville, an organization that honors East Tennessee veterans.
Alexander and Corker met the group at their first stop at the World War II Memorial and spoke with several of the Tennesseans before the veterans headed to visit other memorials in Washington.
“This week, I spent time with World War II veterans visiting Washington to see the memorial built in their honor on the National Mall, and I couldn’t help but think about their fallen friends,” Alexander said. “Visiting with those men and women and hearing their stories reminds us that this day is for every fallen hero and every veteran who served America.”
“It’s hard to think of Memorial Day and not think of our Greatest Generation, the Americans who served our country in World War II,” said Corker. “On Wednesday, Senator Alexander and I had the honor of welcoming over a hundred of these veterans to the World War II Memorial constructed in their honor. It is humbling to be in their presence. And I know that many of the folks they served beside are no longer with us. We lose about 900 of our World War II veterans each day. ”
Alexander and Corker are cosponsors of an updated GI Bill offered by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) that ensures Tennessee veterans receive the same benefits as those in other states, allows for the transfer of education benefits, and aids recruitment and retention.