WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) entered the following statement into the record in support of U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth’s (D-Ill.) unanimous consent request condemning President Trump’s recent comments regarding fallen military personnel.
“Mr. President, today I join my colleagues to honor the service and sacrifice of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans, and Gold Star families; and to commemorate the men and women in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our Nation.
“Since the earliest days of this country, we have been blessed by selfless men and women who have run toward, not away from, mortal danger. Driven by a profound sense of patriotism, they laid down their own lives to defend the freedoms that define our Nation.
“That level of courage is difficult to comprehend, and impossible to repay. Therefore, we show our gratitude by remembering these heroes – their bravery, their strength, and their hope – and also the sacrifices of the loved ones who have lost family members in uniform.
“One such hero is Sergeant 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty from Bowie, Maryland. Sgt. Hilty was serving in Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, helping to defeat ISIL, when he died this past March 30th 2020. This was after completing three previous tours to Afghanistan and earning several awards for his valiant service, including the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Joint Service Achievement Medal.
“Those who knew Sgt. Hilty remember him as a devoted son, husband, father, a tremendous leader, and a dear friend. I am thankful for Sgt. Hilty’s service to our country, and so sorry for the loss of such a wonderful member of our community.
“We are forever indebted to the brave men and women like Sgt. Hilty who gave their lives to keep the rest of us safe. As President John F. Kennedy once said, “we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” All Americans should be reflecting on the values that these men and women defended and we must redouble our efforts to uphold them.
“Values like the freedoms to speak, worship, think, and dissent. Values like equality, justice, and tolerance. Values like truth and fairness. These are the pillars of the democracy that so many have died to protect. We honor their sacrifices by working together to build and preserve the America they fought to defend and support.
“Our citizen soldiers never need to ask, ‘what’s in it for them’. They know they answer life’s highest and most honorable calling. We should all remember the sacrifices that so many servicemen and women have made defending our freedoms. My thoughts and prayers are with all the families in Maryland and across the United States who have lost loved ones protecting our Nation.”
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