ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall issued the following statement in memory of the men and women who have given their lives in service to our nation:
“Our state has a proud tradition of military service. Whenever our nation has called, New Mexico has answered. Some of those brave men and women have not come home — they gave everything so that we may have the privilege of being safe and free. We mourn them, remember them, and on Memorial Day, we pause to reflect on their commitment and courage.
“This Memorial Day, as with every year, there are families all across our nation who will once again see that empty seat at the table and grieve for those they have lost. Their loss is ours as well, and our hearts go out to them. Memorial Day is also a day to remember the values that unite us, the freedoms that we cherish, and our gratitude to the men and women who risk their lives to protect those freedoms. They represent the best of us. In remembering their sacrifice, let us strive to be worthy of them every day.
“We also remember our fellow Americans who still serve in faraway lands and on the sea, ready to defend our nation’s interests every day. And when they come home, or tragically do not come home, we all have a solemn obligation to make sure that they and their families receive the benefits they have earned. That is a sacred obligation; a privilege that I will defend in the U.S. Senate for the men and women who have given so much for our safety and our freedoms. If we fail to honor that obligation, it breaks a solemn promise.
“Recent reports about failures in the VA system highlight the importance of this promise. Our veterans and their families rely on the VA, and we must ensure it provides the best care possible.”