WASHINGTON, D.C. – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) paid tribute to those who laid down their lives defending our nation in a video message available here. In her video message, Duckworth called on Americans to remember the fallen servicemembers and continue to honor their legacy.

“This Memorial Day, I’m going to be thinking of all those warriors who sacrificed for the nation they loved,” Duckworth said. “I’m going to be thinking about my friends who never made it home from war. I’m going to be thinking about the stories they told about their families and the hopes they shared about their futures. We will never begin to repay the debt we owe them and their loved ones, but it’s on us to try.”

Senator Duckworth’s full remarks are available below:

Hi, everyone!

I’m Senator Tammy Duckworth, and it’s an honor to join you—albeit virtually—to honor Memorial Day.

Memorial Day may look different this year, but this weekend is still a somber reminder for our servicemembers, Veterans and military families of the true cost of war.

It is a time to remember those who did not come home with us, to honor those families who suffered the loss of a loved one and to recommit ourselves to living our lives in a way that honors the sacrifice of those who risked their lives to serve our nation.

It is a time for us to remember that wars are not fought by faceless, nameless troops.

They are fought by our neighbors, friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children—and they leave behind grieving families deserving our respect and support.

This Memorial Day, I’m going to be thinking of all those warriors who sacrificed for the nation they loved. I’m going to be thinking about my friends who never made it home from war. I’m going to be thinking about the stories they told about their families and the hopes they shared about their futures.

We will never begin to repay the debt we owe them and their loved ones.

But it’s on us to try.

Let’s use this day—and every day—trying to lead lives that honor their sacrifices in the way they deserve.

Right now, that includes ensuring that our Veterans, and all Americans, to stay as safe as possible during this pandemic.

This includes expanding testing and tracing… getting hospitals the resources they need... boosting grant funding for small businesses, including those owned by Veterans... and funneling more support into hunger prevention programs like SNAP, which more than a million Veterans rely on to survive.

Toward the end of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said that we must always strive to “care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan…”

This Memorial Day weekend, as our nation faces a very different crisis, let’s recommit to heeding President Lincoln’s words… for there is no better way to honor the sacrifices of our fallen heroes than by acting in service of others.

God bless all of our troops who are in harm’s way right now, God bless all of our nation’s Veterans, as well as those who have lost their lives in sacrifice to protect and defend all of us. And always, God bless the United States of America. Be well.

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