MEMORIAL DAY; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 87
(Senate - May 23, 2019)

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[Pages S3065-S3066]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                              MEMORIAL DAY

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, Monday, of course, is Memorial Day. 
Americans will take time out of our ordinary routine and busy lives to 
remember the men and women who paid the ultimate price for the security 
of our Nation and the liberty we cherish.
  We mourn every young American whose sacrifice has furthered the cause 
of our founding ideals, and we acknowledge in a special way the Gold 
Star families they leave behind--parents, spouses, and children whose 
grief is only matched by the facts of a grateful Nation.
  As President Reagan said one Memorial Day, across the river at 
Arlington: ``Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes 
and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again.''
  So while this day is a day for honoring and remembering, in 
particular, our fallen heroes, it is natural that our thoughts also 
turn to the brave men and women who are currently serving. I am 
thinking of the service men and women who are defending our country 
overseas and especially those engaged in combat in Afghanistan and 
Syria, all those stationed in the Middle East who are threatened by 
Iran, and those holding the line in Asia against the threats from North 
Korea.
  We are tremendously grateful for our military's efforts these last 18 
years to keep America safe from terrorism and their ongoing work to 
combat al-Qaida, fight ISIS, and to help stabilize Afghanistan.
  Of course, I am particularly mindful of the members of the Kentucky 
National Guard and the many soldiers of Kentucky-based Active-Duty 
units who are deployed in harm's way.
  In light of the recent intelligence, we are also keenly aware of the 
critical role our military is playing at this very moment to deter 
Iranian aggression.
  The administration engaged Members of Congress earlier this week to 
brief us on the growing threat and detail the steps the administration 
is taking to address it.
  I am grateful our U.S. military has already taken proven steps to 
improve the posture of our forces so they are ready to defend our 
servicemembers, military vessels, and diplomatic facilities and deter 
attacks by Iran or its proxies all across the region.
  Nobody wants a conflict with Iran. We have heard clearly from the 
President and his senior advisers that the administration's objective 
is to deter Iran from engaging in threatening acts that increase the 
risk of such a conflict.
  We all know that, particularly when dealing with hostile actors, 
peace is a function of strength. So it is essential that even amid 
other partisan political disagreements, we remain one unified Nation. 
America must give Iran no reason--no reason--to misjudge our resolve.
  Whatever disputes my colleagues may have with the administration 
about other issues, I hope we can avoid politicizing any differences 
about this

[[Page S3066]]

particular threat and work together to keep America safe.
  I also want to mention the American diplomats who are also hard at 
work overseas. We know that many of them, too, are stationed in harm's 
way, as we remember from repeated Iranian-backed attacks over many 
years on our Embassy in Baghdad or the murder of Ambassador Chris 
Stevens in Benghazi.
  We are grateful for the talent and the hard work they have deployed--
often, hand in hand with our military--to advance American interests, 
preserve peace, prevent miscalculation, and deter conflict. I know I 
speak for all of my colleagues when I say I hope their efforts are 
heeded.

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