Celebrating our Independence
Military service members have selflessly served to protect the freedoms our founders risked their lives for when they read the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 at Independence Square. Both military service members and veterans are in large part responsible for the preservation of our society as we know it today.
Because of this, I proclaimed 2012 the Year of the Veteran, with the hope we could help those returning home reintegrate into civilian society with housing, education, health care, and meaningful jobs.
The best part of my job is welcoming home those who have served overseas. The hardest days are when I have to attend military funerals. However hard it is, talking with the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, always gives me hope. At nearly every military funeral I attended, a family member or friend of the fallen soldier has come up to me and thanked the people of our great state for honoring those returning home. It’s remarkable that those who are experiencing an unbelievable amount of grief from the loss of a son or daughter, husband or wife, or friend, can take the time to thank the people of our state. They are what make our state and country great.
I hope all year long you’ll continue to celebrate the courage exhibited by our founders, our service members, and our veterans. If you see a veteran or service member at a parade, community event or gathering throughout this summer, please thank them for their service and for protecting our freedoms.