Observing Memorial Day

Observing Memorial Day

On Memorial Day Delegate Krizek addressed the Hollin Hills Community at Voight Park:

Thank you fellow Hollin Hillers. It is my honor as your neighbor and our elected Delegate to the Virginia General Assembly to be speaking to you today at this Hollin Hills Memorial Day Observation. I was here for the inaugural Hollin Hills Memorial Day Observation, and I said then that “When this community starts a new tradition it often lasts forever! The home and garden tour started in 1953 and the 4th of July picnic has been going on for as long as I can remember, and I’ve lived here since 1974.” I was right! It is great to see this community honor our courageous heroes again. And, it is appropriate that it is raining as this is not a celebration, but a sacred ceremony.

And all across America today there will be remembrances and ceremonies just like this, big and small, in neighborhood parks, and at memorials and cemeteries, honoring the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our freedom, to observe the meaning of this day. Many of us here lost loved ones. Many of our fellow Hollin Hillers lost loved ones in service to our nation. Many of our Mount Vernon community lost loved ones. Without those soldiers’ sacrifices we would not even be here, nor allowed even to gather like this, let alone have the opportunity to include a flag and wreath-laying ceremony as we will do shortly.

War is an awful thing. Look around the globe today, there are many wars, and an especially horrific one in Ukraine where Russia has invaded and is destroying everything and killing many. War doesn’t distinguish between civilians and military, children and adults.

Our military is strong and necessary. They lay down their lives to protect us. We honor our war dead and to try to make sense of and find meaning in their sacrifice. Why did they have to die? Why do some not return from the battlefield? They put our country over self!

Yet, if recent history teaches us nothing else, it is that we cannot take our freedom for granted and that we must never forget what those who came before had to sacrifice to defend our freedom.

And, I know also that veterans especially appreciate these gestures of thanks from their fellow Americans and feel honored for having served our country. Today they also remember their fellow soldiers, their friends, who didn’t make it. 

I know my father was especially proud of his service and told us of the heroic deeds of those he fought with. He retired as a USAF Colonel and is now buried at Arlington Cemetery. My grandfather served in WWII and died in France where he is buried. He was only 29 years old.

I especially want to say thanks to all of our Native American veterans. We are standing on land where Algonquian-speaking Indians were the first inhabitants, the last being the Piscataway, who are today an active and recognized tribal nation across the Potomac River in Maryland. They served a country whose government once took everything from them. They have served in all branches of the U.S. military as far back as the Revolutionary War before they could vote, before they were even considered citizens. Of course, you have heard of the code talkers of WWII, who kept our communications a secret using the complex Navajo language to thwart the enemy.

So, let’s take one final moment to observe, honor, and never forget all those patriotic soldiers who are no longer here, and to salute those veterans here with us today.

Thank you and God Bless America.