BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today issued the following statement in recognition of Veterans Day 2015, which is this Wednesday, November 11.
“As America celebrates Veterans Day, we stand united in honoring the acts of selfless service from our nation’s veterans. Our veterans have protected the American people and defended our values. These Americans are the bravest among us. We applaud the innumerable sacrifices that they and their loved ones have made for this great country.
“Maryland has been made stronger by the efforts of men and women who transitioned from defending our nation to improving their communities throughout our state. This Veterans Day, I would in particular like to recognize three such veterans, all Marylanders who were members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.
“William Colbert began his service to our nation in the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps and continued in his service as a Flight Officer at the Tuskegee Army Air Field. Mr. Colbert was too ill to travel to Washington in 2007 to receive his Congressional Gold Medal. This spring, I had the distinct honor of traveling to Cumberland to present him with the medal.
“William E. Broadwater of Upper Marlboro used the skills he had honed as part of the Tuskegee Airmen to become a commercial pilot. He went on to use those skills to become a senior administrator with the Federal Aviation Administration and later started his own aviation business.
“Cyril O. Byron Sr. of Randallstown left Morgan State College to serve with the Tuskegee Airmen. After admirably serving his country, he returned to Morgan State, graduated and went on to serve as a police officer. He also taught and coached at a number of universities.
“All three of these men continued to serve their country by working for various government agencies and institutions after they hung up their uniforms. All three of these men served with no expectation of fame or accolades and returned home to continue to make this country a better place. Sadly, all three of these men passed away this year, but their legacies of self-sacrifice and service, like the legacies of so many American veterans, will continue to inspire future generations.
“Our efforts to honor all of our nation’s veterans must be equally as resolute as was their commitment to defend this country. I am proud to have introduced legislation that authorizes the addition of a ‘Wall of Remembrance’ to the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The Wall of Remembrance would list the names of members of the Armed Forces of the United States who died in theater in the Korean War, as well as the number of service members who were wounded in action, are listed as missing in action, or who were prisoners of war.
“Authorizing a Wall of Remembrance is just one way we can help ensure that those who died while serving our country in the “Forgotten War” are no longer forgotten. I look forward to celebrating a future Veterans Day at this well-deserved memorial. But we must never forget that memorials alone do not fulfill our solemn debt to veterans. As a country, we must always work to ensure that our veterans are given the tools they need to succeed when they return home.
“Today, we salute our veterans and thank them for defending our freedoms.”