My pride as a U.S. citizen took on a new meaning for me when I served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Here I had the honor to work shoulder to shoulder alongside courageous Americans of all stripes and colors under our united stripes of red, white and blue.

Together, we fought to preserve the American way of life, the unalienable principles of freedom, independence and democracy for all people of our nation. These experiences¬†blossomed within me a greater appreciation for and understanding of the mission and service to one’s country, and I carried this inspiration forth in my heart and mind in representing the people throughout my tenures as Virginia State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, Governor of Virginia and Mayor of Richmond.

Fortunate as I was to return home after the war, many of my compatriots in arms did not. While today, this Memorial Day, we remember and reflect on the ultimate sacrifice these individuals made in their unwavering service, the memories of lives lost stay with me throughout each year. Let us not confine our memorializing of these brave souls to a single day, but keep their contributions that give us the liberties we share in our hearts and minds throughout and for all time.

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