WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, released the following video message in honor of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country.

Read the transcript of his remarks below:

“This Monday is Memorial Day. In ordinary times, this weekend would bring parades and community events.

“It would be a time to gather with friends and family, and to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom.

“After all, what’s now a federal holiday began as spontaneous community tributes to the fallen following the Civil War.

“I’ve had the honor of attending local Memorial Day services across Iowa over the years.

“These services provide a meaningful opportunity to remember the individuals who gave their lives for us.

“This year, it looks a little different. But, while we may not be able to gather together, each and every American can still set aside time to reflect on those who died for our country. 

“These are our fathers and brothers, our sons and daughters.

“Since the Revolutionary War, over 1.3 million American soldiers have died in war. Some are remembered for their heroic actions in battle.

“All are remembered by their friends and families, or in stories passed down by generations.

“They’re remembered for their sense of humor, their love for their family and for the selfless willingness to sacrifice everything.

“No headstone in a cemetery or ribbon tied around a tree can fill the hole that they left behind.

“But by remembering their sacrifice, we can ensure that they’re never forgotten or taken for granted.

“This year, I’ll be thinking of those that have gone before us, and saying a prayer for our men and women in uniform who are even today risking their lives for this great country.”

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