Memorial Day 2009

 
 
Editors Note: For those who were not able to be at the Eagle Point National Cemetery on Memorial Day
2009, the following were President Jan Esquivel’s remarks as she filled in for her husband State Rep. Sal
Esquivel.

“It is a gorgeous day here in Southern Oregon – a beautiful day to remember those who have gone before
us – those who have served and sacrificed so that we may be here today sharing our thoughts and words.
Rep. Esquivel sends his very best wishes and his apologies.

He was asked to address some of the veteran issues that have been dealt with at the Oregon Legislature
this 75th session. The one bill we know for sure that will make it to the Governor’s desk for signature is the
military family leave bill. This bill will allow family members to take up to 14 days of leave from their job to
spend with their husband, wife, brother, sister or other family member that is being deployed or just returning
from active duty. We can all thank a military family member, Stacy Bannerman from the Rogue Valley for
requesting this legislation.

A memorial has been passed through the house requesting Congress to allow any Oregon veteran no
matter what era they served be eligible for the Oregon Department of Veterans Administration home loan
program.

We have passed through the house a bill that states that any veteran is a veteran –and services will be
available to those veterans - not just for war veterans but any veteran who has given service to this country.
Another Memorial specifically requests Congress to give the Veterans Administration designated funding
instead of discretionary funding so that benefits for Veterans will be stable, continuous – so services could
be counted on by any and all veterans in our nation.

Many, if not all of us gathered here today have stories of our ancestors who served this one nation under
God during times past and present. Rep. Esquivel and I are no different. His step father served in Korea,
he served in Vietnam, and my father flew a low level Boston Bomber on the European front in WWII before
and after Pearl Harbor. There are many stories that our veterans have to tell – take time to listen – take time
to write down what you remember from a family member or friend – these stories are a part of our country’s
history that we should be ready and willing to share with generations to come. Take the time to teach your
children the history of this great nation and share the stories of their family’s generations so they might
understand the importance of the individuals who have served this nation.

There are still many lessons to be learned and many to be remembered from the lives we honor today –This
is our time to pay attention, to take heed, to move forward and to utilize the great wealth of knowledge we
have gathered through the losses we have suffered as a nation.

Our Veterans here today know exactly what I speak of and we all would be wise to pay attention. We should
heed the stories they have to tell and the lessons they have to teach. We each have a great opportunity to
give thanks to veterans for what they have given, so that you and I may stand here today and speak freely
about our beliefs, about our stance on issues, so that we have FREEDOM. Freedom is not free – it comes
at the expense of the ultimate sacrifice each one of us has to offer.

Take the time today and every day to thank a veteran for their service to this beautiful nation we call home.
There is no greater nation on earth than the United States of America and it is our duty to our country to be
sure that every individual who has ever served our nation feels the victory of that service – I have seen Rep
Esquivel take just a few minutes to welcome home a Veteran - Welcome a veteran home whenever you
have the opportunity.

America is our home, our country, one great nation under God and many have given the ultimate gift to
protect this nation. Let us not ignore the opportunity granted to us to let the world know that we, as
Americans, know exactly what America is – exactly what freedom costs – and how very important the lives
of all our service men and women are to each of us.

Thank you again for being here today to share your love for this nation, your pride in your family, and to give
thanks to all those who have served and still serve today. God Bless you and God Bless America.”
 
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citizens perform their duties there, such a system of
government is doomed to failure."
Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the USA.
 
 
 
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