WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today issued the following statement in recognition of Veterans Day, which is Thurs., November 11.
“On Veterans Day, we pause to thank those who have served our country and their loved ones for their courage and sacrifice. Their collective contribution to this country is worthy of the highest praise we can muster.
“This year we especially mourn the loss of 31-year-old U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, of Severna Park, who was among the crewmembers who perished in August when an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter crashed into the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and subsequently fell into the sea. Corpsman Burns had served for more than a decade and achieved several distinctions, including Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist, three Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and the National Defense Service Medal. She will be missed by her Maryland and her Navy families.
“It is impossible to mark Veterans Day 2021 without acknowledging the impacts of COVID-19. This year, the pandemic claimed the life of notable national military leaders, like General Colin Powell, whose legacy will forever be remembered and celebrated.
“Unfortunately, General Powell was not our only recent loss. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical system has recorded more than 363,000 cases of COVID-19 nationwide – and more than 16,000 deaths.
“The pandemic also has had devastating consequences right here in Maryland. The Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, for example, was the site of one of the worst outbreaks in the country – 66 residents and one staff member have died there.
“Maryland is home to 400,000 veterans and we cherish each one. We pledge to do everything possible to protect their health, support their livelihood and guard their dignity.
“To our veterans in Maryland and across our great nation, I share our heartfelt gratitude. We appreciate you and your families. We honor your sacrifices, strength, and dedication to service on this day and every day.”