WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) issued the following statement on the observance of Memorial Day 2011:

“Each year, on the final Monday in May, Americans gather to observe Memorial Day – a holiday in which we pay tribute to the many courageous members of our Armed Forces who gave their lives defending our freedom. Started in 1868 as a means for a still fragile nation to honor the countless troops lost during the Civil War, today we recognize all the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country.

"While only a single day on the calendar is devoted to commemorating these brave heroes, we must honor their sacrifices at all times by embracing the freedoms they died defending. In life, our soldiers, sailors and marines personify American patriotism – risking life and limb fighting for the country they love. In death, they remind us that the protection of our values and ideals often comes at a great cost.

"As we honor our fallen men and women this Memorial Day, we must also express our gratitude to the country’s many veterans, who fought to protect the American people, and active duty service members, who are currently fighting to ensure our security.”