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Celebrating America's heroes

Published November 10. 2011 05:01PM

On this Veteran's Day, I want to encourage everyone to pause and reflect on our nation's veterans and all they have done, and continue to don, for our great country. Whether they have served here at home or in hot spots around the globe, they have sacrificed and worked hard every day to ensure our freedom and safety and maintain world peace.

I am proud to know that Pennsylvania is, and always has been, home to a record numbers of veterans in every major war and conflict since World War I. The Commonwealth is comprised of a proud and patriotic community of men and women who possess an admirable love of country.

As the state representative for the 122nd Legislative District, I have a firm commitment to the men and women in uniform. My office arranges for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs' mobile Vet Center to visit the region each month to provide access to services available through the VA. The next visit is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at American Legion Post 314 at 314 Veterans Ave., Lehighton. In addition, veterans who need assistance are also encouraged to contact my office at (610) 377-6363 in Lehighton and (570) 722-8700 in Albrightsville.

In addition, I voted in support of legislation recently signed into law that establishes the Honor and Remember Flag as an official Pennsylvania emblem for fallen soldiers, requiring the flag to be permanently flown in Soldiers and Sailors' Grove near the state Capitol. This is a long-overdue tribute to those who have given their lives to protect us.

I also supported legislation signed into law that allows the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to arrange for Honor Guard burial details at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Bucks County. Similiar services are offered at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Lebanon County. The men and women who will be entombed in Washington Crossing National Cemetery have served their country honorably in the U.S. military and have earned the rigt to a fitting military funeral.

I have also recently had the honor of participating in the Carbon County Veterans Day Parade. Taking part in an event that celebrates and pays tribute to our country's military men and women was inspirational to say the least. I am humbled by what our veterans have sacrificed for us. They all deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. So, as you go about your daily lives this weekend, take a moment and think about the many freedoms you enjoy and remember the millions of men and women throughout the course of history who have fought for and preserved those freedoms.

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