In all the excitement of the “unofficial” start of summer commencing this weekend, it can be easy to lose sight of why we even recognize Memorial Day. As you enjoy the weather warming up, the pools opening and a day off, I encourage you to remember, reflect, and honor all of those who have given service to our country and made the ultimate sacrifice.
On Monday, at 3 p.m. local time, I invite you to join me in stopping whatever you’re doing, and pausing for a moment of silence in respect and remembrance of those who died fighting for our freedom.
This particular Memorial Day has extra special meaning to me, as my office and I have been working with Fifth District resident, Elynn Bautz, to track down information about her father, Marshall Bautz, who was wounded in action during combat in France during WWI. He was cited for bravery, and suffered a head wound, three fractured ribs, and a fractured knee.
After some work on the parts of many, I am very honored that the Thursday of Memorial Day week, June 3 – 92 years after his service – I will be awarding Mr. Bautz a purple heart, posthumously. I will be presenting the medal to his son, Marshall Bautz, Jr., at a ceremony being held at Triangle Park in Whitefish Bay, and members of his family are coming from all corners of the country to remember him.
The chance to present this very special award reminds us that we should always take any opportunity to honor and thank all our service members. And we can all start this weekend by visiting a cemetery, placing flowers on the grave of a fallen hero, aiding a widow, flying your flag at half-staff until noon on Monday, or honoring the fallen in your own way.
Finally, let’s not forget all the men and women who are currently serving overseas courageously, as well as their families at home, who would enjoy being able to go to the beach with their loved one, have a cookout or just relax together at home, but are unable because duty has called. We appreciate all of their devotion to this great land.
U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) represents Wisconsin’s 5th District.