The BRAVE!   


 Veterans from Big Bear Valley communities gather for the Veterans Day ceremony (November 11, 2015).

By Senator Michael Morrell - 

We are beckoned to honor the legacies of brave men and women who lost their lives in defense of Our Country during the MEMORIAL DAY weekend.  We put all on the line to uphold the principles of freedom and liberty that many of us too often, take for granted. We owe Them and their Families a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.    

Three years after the conclusion of the Civil War in 1868, our nation marked its first official observance of what would later become MEMORIAL DAY. Then, it was known as Decoration Day, a time/a day set aside by American Communities to commemorate the lives of fallen soldiers by adorning their graves with flowers.

At a Decoration Day ceremony in Arlington Cemetery that year, General James A. Garfield, then a Congressman and later the 20th President of the United States, made this enduring observation about members of the Armed Forces who gave up everything:

“…they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” 

In April, at this year’s Patriots of the Past, Present, & Future, as well as honoring returning heroes, we remembered individuals like the late U.S. Marine Sergeant Joshua Ashley of Rancho Cucamonga who lost his life in Afghanistan. His mother, Tammie, was able to adopt the military dog Sirius who served with Sergeant Joshua Ashley. 

As you go about your weekend, I encourage you to pause and think about the significance of MEMORIAL DAY. We must never lose sight of the cost of freedom and the sacrifices of Veterans and military families of every generation who have selflessly served our country, the United States of America!  

May God continue to Bless Our Nation and all those who answer the call to defend it!

 Mike Morrell