For many, Memorial Day is just another three-day weekend and the message of the day can easily be drowned out by the unofficial beginning of summer. It is important that in the midst of the holiday we take the time to remember the true meaning and importance behind this day. From the days of our founding fathers to today, our men and women in uniform have marched to the front lines, leaving family and friends to defend this great country. More than 650,000 American men and women have died in combat since the Revolutionary War and each and every one of them has left a legacy that we will never forget.
On this Memorial Day, we honor all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live in freedom. We must also remember that the pains of war live on in the families that have lost loved ones. It is our duty to care for the widows, widowers and orphans of those who have fallen and console anyone who is going through the trauma of losing a loved one.
Among the countless heroes we honor this Memorial Day are two young men from our Third District who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the War on Terror. U.S. Army Sergeant Paul E. Dumont Jr. of Williamsburg passed away on August 19, 2009 while serving at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. U.S. Army Sergeant Mason Lee Lewis of Gloucester died on November 16, 2007 in Baghdad Iraq. This Memorial Day, we honor and remember Sergeant Dumont and Sergeant Lewis and their families among the many brave men and women who gave their lives for their country.
Poem of Remembrance
© 2007 Dean C. Broome, MD JD.
Here's to those who paid the price
And stood atop the wall,
Who didn't call it sacrifice,
But duty to a call.
Beyond our power to add, detract,
Or honor with parade,
Or praise with words all copper-plaqued,
In public squares displayed,
They held the line, they took the brunt
Directed at our flank.
From general to lowly grunt
Now "hero" is their rank.
For some - unknown - the laurel wreaths
Must rest on unnamed graves.
For others still, their God bequeaths
No slabs or architraves.
For other heroes, living hearts
Still speak aloud their name.
Their daughters, sons, and better-parts -
To memories lay claim.
Some met the foe with angry eye;
Some trembled at the fray;
Some grieved for wife and family;
Some paused to kneel and pray.
Yet, as their hour approached its mark
And minutes became rare,
All gazed into the dreaded dark,
And stood - where we weren't - there.
We praise with words their bravery,
Their steadfast soldiers' hands,
That shielded us from slavery
And wrack from foreign lands.
Now pause awhile, and think on them.
Let recollection stir
To memory, through this artless hymn,
Of those and who they were.
It is an honor to serve you in the Virginia General Assembly. If I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office. With kindest regards, I remain
Very truly yours,
Senator Tommy Norment