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Honoring and remembering those who have served
This past Sunday our nation once again observed Pearl Harbor Day to honor and remember those brave Americans who endured that tragic event. For those who survived, and those who did not, it is our solemn duty to never forget the sacrifices they made for our nation. And while we have holidays like Veterans Day, Memorial Day and this one, it is also our responsibility to recognize the contributions of the men and women of our armed forces on each and every day of the year, rather than just a few.

More than 2,400 Americans died on December 7, 1941 and nearly 1,300 were wounded. The surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor left our Pacific Fleet crippled and stunned the American people. The devastating attack could have broken the spirit of a nation that had stayed out of World War II up to that point. Instead it awoke the slumbering American giant and plunged us into a war where our presence would be the deciding factor. Our ability to win that war was in large part due to the support of the American people who pulled together and made great sacrifices to support the war effort. The members of our armed forces were treated as heroes and when the war was finally decided, a grateful nation vowed never to forget the sacrifices made by these brave individuals.

In the years since World War II, our nation has entered a number of wars and thousands of men and women have answered the call to duty. We also have experienced the tragic attacks of 9/11 and saw how our nation responded and pulled together. However, even with some of the awe-inspiring stories of courage and commitment we have seen, our nation still has not reached the level of unity that was attained after World War II. Yes, we are still the greatest nation on this planet and Americans continue to be the most amazingly resilient people in history. But we have lost to some degree that sense of common purpose that allowed our nation to stand united in the face of overwhelming adversity. We also have, at times, forgotten the soldiers who have sacrificed so much to protect the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.

So as we think about Pearl Harbor Day this year, I ask everyone to take a lesson from history and treat the men and women of our armed forces in the same way they would have been treated those many years ago – as the heroes they are. We are a great and caring people but we can and should do more to honor those who serve our nation. I hope many of you have taken the time to send cards or presents to those serving overseas who will be far from family and friends for the holidays. Simple actions such as these can mean so much and remind our soldiers they are appreciated. I also encourage you to donate to our Missouri Military Family Relief Fund that is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to military members called into duty as a result of 9/11. When you go to prepare your tax returns in a few months, be sure to use the check-off box to donate what you can to this worthy cause.

Whatever it is you can do to help or honor our soldiers and veterans, I ask you to do it. We are a great nation and a great people and that greatness stems from our devotion to the ideals that have made this nation what it is today. That devotion leads to selfless men and women sacrificing their lives to keep our freedoms intact. That devotion also means those who do not serve should support and honor those who do. I ask you during the time of Pearl Harbor Day, and every day of the year, to support our troops and our veterans in any way that you can.

If I can be of service to you, please contact me by calling (573) 751-1446, e-mail me at david.day@house.mo.gov or through my website at www.StateRepDay.com. Lastly, I have moved offices in the capitol and want to provide you with my new mailing address. It is: State Rep. David Day, 201 W. Capitol Ave, Room 234, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

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