On the weekend before Memorial Day, U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger reflected on Central Virginians’ long and proud record of service to their country and how they honor neighbors who’ve given all to defend and serve the nation.
“This year will undoubtedly be a different experience. Yet, even under our current circumstances, I know that we will still find ways to duly commemorate the heroism of the men and women who never returned home,” Spanberger said in a statement. “On this day, I hope we will all find courage and faith in the memory of those who gave their very lives for the promise of our country.”
The 7th District Democrat recalled, a year ago, participating in a bipartisan congressional visit to Normandy to mark D-Day’s 75th anniversary. In France, humbled by the experience, she met veterans from Virginia who had stormed the beaches during the Allies’ Operation Overlord.
“They shared the stories of their brothers-in-arms buried beneath white crosses—men who were neighbors, classmates, brothers and sons,” Spanberger said. “In the face of extraordinary dangers, these Americans risked everything to carry out their mission, defeat fascism in Europe, and keep the torch of our nation’s core values alight.”
The congresswoman also expressed gratitude at hearing from Gold Star families about their loved ones who never came home. She recalled last year meeting one mother who shared “beautifully earnest stories” about her son, and said she wanted to honor him this year.
“Her heartbreak was palpable as she described a boisterous teenager who grew up to be a soldier,” Spanberger said of that mom. “On Memorial Day, we take purposeful time to honor the profound sacrifice represented in cemetery rows like those in Normandy or in the stories of a Gold Star mother, and we reflect on the bravery, commitment and sacrifice of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”