News & Opinion
Chairman Roe in the Washington Times: I Carry The Mission to Honor the Sacrifice of Our Heroes With Me
In honor of Memorial Day, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs penned the below op-ed in The Washington Times:
Memorial Day is a day we pay tribute to the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe and free. This year, Memorial Day takes on even greater meaning to me, as I just returned from an oversight visit to various World War I and World War II American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) sites. As chairman of the House Committee on Veterans‘ Affairs, I have oversight responsibility of ABMC’s work, both at home and abroad. ABMC employees have made it their life’s work to make sure the sacrifice of the men and women who laid down their lives wearing the uniform of the United States of America is never forgotten. Walking those hallowed grounds that saw so much bloodshed for the cause of liberty is an experience I will never forget.
As time passes, it can become difficult to remember the horrors of war. Even spaces that were once sites of vicious battles can be turned into peaceful, beautiful memorials where we can reflect, but for the loved ones of the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, the cost of war is never far from their minds and hearts. They see it in the empty seat at the Thanksgiving table, and they feel the loss every day of their lives — even on the most joyful of occasions. We owe it to those men and women — and their families — to make sure we’re honoring their sacrifice and delivering on the commitment we’ve made to those who serve. I carried this mission with me as I visited sites like Belleau Wood Battlefield, and when I paid my respects to three Tennessee brothers at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery. I carry it with me when I sit in on the dais as chairman of the House Committee on Veterans‘ Affairs, and it guides every piece of legislation I introduce and every vote I take that will affect the lives of our heroes and their families.