May 22, 2020
WASHINGTON – In recognition of Memorial Day, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor this week to pay tribute to the American heroes who lost their lives serving our nation.
Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Remarks:
“Memorial Day every year looks a lot the same, but won't look the same in very many places this year. If you did have a parade or an event planned, it was probably canceled weeks ago. And even with the best of efforts probably not put together for Monday, but it doesn't mean that we still don't have an opportunity and an obligation, in fact, to remember those who served. …
“It is, in fact, a unique Memorial Day. It's a Memorial Day where 75 years ago we were just finishing the incredible devastation, the devastating war of World War II. VE Day ended the war in Europe on May the 8th. Seventy-five years ago right now, American soldiers were fighting at the Battle of Okinawa. Just a few weeks before that, our country and our allies had fought the fierce Battle of Iwo Jima. These were really the two last major battles of the Pacific. One of the people who died at Iwo Jima was an 18-year-old Marine from Bates County, Missouri, named George Phillips.
“On the night of March 14th, an enemy hand grenade was tossed into the area where his squad had sought shelter. Private Phillips shouted a warning and threw his body on top of the grenade. Saved the lives of every other person there, but gave his life to save theirs. For his actions that day, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. The citation was signed by another former soldier from Missouri, President Truman. Honoring that bravery, the kind of unhesitating bravery that has been so characteristic of American soldiers over centuries of understanding what it meant to defend your family, to defend your friends, to defend those serving with you, and, in the case of our country, to be willing to defend freedom. To be willing to jump on the grenade, to be willing to do what was necessary to protect others. …
“We have a lot to think about this Memorial Day. A lot to dedicate ourselves toward as we look to a future where people continue to help others. To where people continue to give selflessly. And for those who have served in the military, to be willing to serve, to be willing to pay whatever price. We stand in appreciation of that on this Memorial Day, as we approach this weekend.”