A press release from Congressman Peter Roskam:
Celebrating Our Heroes
Over the weekend, Americans across the country have been gathering with loved ones to celebrate Memorial Day in honor of our nation’s armed forces.
We also honor the ultimate sacrifice that hundreds of thousands of Americans have made over our history.
These brave service men and women served in the pursuit of liberty, protecting the freedoms we hold dear while defeating tyranny around the world.
We must never forget how their service and sacrifice shape every American’s life.
I celebrate my father’s service during the Korean War, and I also won’t ever forget how our lives were changed by another serviceman that we never met.
During World War II an American soldier named George Jenkins stormed the beach at Normandy and paid the ultimate sacrifice on those foreign sands.
His tragic death in 1944 is deeply personal to me and influenced my life greatly.
George’s mother and father, Roy and Ella Jenkins, decided to take his life insurance money and choose a young man who happens to be my father, Swede Roskam, and pluck him out of adversity, and pluck him out of a bad situation.
They paid his tuition, room, board, books, fees, spending money and they even bought him a class ring that I wear on my hand today.
It was the generosity of the Jenkins family in honoring a veteran that literally changed my life and the trajectory of our family.
Our nation will always remember the greatest generation that grew up during the Great Depression and still answered the call of duty when war was ravaging the world and threatening our freedoms.
As we celebrate this year’s Memorial Day with family and friends, we come together to reflect on the sacrifice of our veterans, our current service men and women and our nation.
We can never take for granted the sacrifice the men and women who fought and continue to fight against threats to democracy. Now more than ever, Congress must be a watchful advocate for our men and women in uniform returning from service in the Middle East.