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Remembering the Significance of Memorial Day

(Private First Class Ilario Garcia made the ultimate sacrifice for us and our freedoms on Iwo Jima during WWII. Consider searching for and reading  about Ilario and other Hispanic war heroes to honor them.)

Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed their lives for our country. As a first-generation Mexican American, while my immediate family may not have a history of military service, I am surrounded by friends and extended family who have bravely served in all our wars, from World War II to today.

This weekend, as many of us gather for the commonplace grilling with family and friends, it's crucial not to lose sight of the true significance of Memorial Day. It's a solemn reminder of the valor and ultimate sacrifice made by countless men and women, including the many Hispanic men and women, to protect our freedoms and uphold our democracy.

In today's climate, the fragility of our democratic system feels more palpable than ever, adding a somber weight to this reflection. The courage and dedication of those who served highlight the importance of each of us taking an active role in preserving the values they fought for and that we benefit from.

To my friends and distant cousins who have served or are currently serving, my deepest gratitude for your service which is a testament to the strength and resilience of our nation. And to all of us, let’s honor their sacrifices not just with remembrance but with action. By voting in every local and National election, we help safeguard the democratic ideals they defended. Let’s vote not only for our future but also in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to support their families who continue to bear the weight of their loss. Let’s vote for individuals who respect our servicemen and respect the values and ideals of our democracy.

Additionally, let’s show our appreciation by supporting local organizations that assist veterans. Donations to these groups can provide crucial resources and services to those who have given so much for our country.

This Memorial Day, let us remember, reflect, and recommit to the responsibilities that come with our freedoms. Through active participation in our democracy, supporting veterans' organizations, and voting in honor of our fallen soldiers, we ensure that the sacrifices of our service members were not in vain.

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