Cochran salutes Mississippi’s Memorial Day heroes


In a Memorial Day tribute released Friday morning, U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) said that brave men and woman who have died in defense of the United States should inspire all Americans “to work for the good of our nation.” Cochran’s 2013 Memorial Day tribute was included in the Congressional Record and honors Mississippians who have died while in the service of the country since the holiday was observed last year.

“Today, tens of thousands of American men and women continue to put their lives on the line to preserve and perpetuate the freedoms and liberties established with the birth of our nation. The freedoms we enjoy in this country have often been paid for with the lives of these servicemembers. Their selfless example of service, whether made at Bunker Hill, Vicksburg, Iwo Jima, Inchon or the remotest regions of Afghanistan, inspires us to sacrifice and work for the good of our nation,” said Cochran, the vice chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Cochran’s full tribute follows:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mr. President, today I pay tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces who have given their lives in defense of the United States. Memorial Day has, since its inception in the years immediately after the end of the Civil War, been a special time for us to remember and honor all Americans who have died in military service. Nearly 150 years after the first “Decoration Day” was observed, it remains important that we as citizens of this great nation take time to reflect on the brave servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

As I’ve noted, Memorial Day grew out of a practice started in April 1866 in Columbus, Mississippi, with the decoration of the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers alike. The tradition of honoring both those who fell on both sides of that conflict evolved into our modern observance of this sacred day.

Today, tens of thousands of American men and women continue to put their lives on the line to preserve and perpetuate the freedoms and liberties established with the birth of our nation. The freedoms we enjoy in this country have often been paid for with the lives of these servicemembers. Their selfless example of service, whether made at Bunker Hill, Vicksburg, Iwo Jima, Inchon or the remotest regions of Afghanistan, inspires us to sacrifice and work for the good of our nation.

This Memorial Day, Mississippians will again honor all brave fallen warriors, including the men and women from our state who have recently died in the service of our nation in Afghanistan and around the world.

For the Record, I offer the names of three brave heroes with roots in Mississippi, who have fallen since the nation commemorated Memorial Day last year. They are:

• Staff Sgt. Ricardo Seija, 31, of Tampa, Fla., who died July 9, 2012

• Master Sgt. 1st Class Coater B. DeBose, 55, of State Line, Miss., died Aug. 19, 2012

• Spc. Patricia L. Horne, 20, of Greenwood, Miss., died Aug. 24, 2012

We mourn their loss and honor them for their courage, dedication and sacrifice, and resolve that their lives were not given in vain.

This Memorial Day, the people of my state and throughout our great nation will rightly set aside their day-to-day tasks to remember and say a prayer of thanksgiving for those to have laid down their lives for their country. We will also think of their families who share most acutely in their loss. I join them in saying thank you to those who made these great sacrifices.

CHRIS GALLEGOS, spokesman for Sen. Cochran, distributed the comments. Contact him at (202) 224-6414 or chris_gallegos@appro.senate.gov.

Sen. Thad Cochran