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Every Memorial Day, towns all across the United States hold ceremonies and parades to honor and remember the sacrifices of those who put on the uniform. Families and friends gather in backyards, parks and picnic areas to come together to enjoy the freedoms of being an American.
Every year, Iím fortunate to meet many local veterans and hear their unique stories, but they all share one thing in common Ė their passion for our great country.
On May 11, I had the honor to introduce a very distinguished veteran from Upper Bern Township to the Senate of Pennsylvania. Dennis Essig is a two-time recipient of the Purple Heart award, among several other awards, including National Defense Medal, Sharp Shooters Badge M14 with Rifle Bar, Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device, Vietnam Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
Dennis served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. During his service, he suffered 13 wounds in two separate battles in 1969.
Dennis was recently interviewed by WFMZ out of Allentown about his service, in which he states that he would do it all over again. You can see his story here .
It was an honor to introduce Dennis and his wife, Lucy, to the Senate of Pennsylvania on May 11. You can watch my introduction of Dennis to the Senate of Pennsylvania here.
I was pleased to see Dennis again on Monday at the Bernville Memorial Day event, which was sponsored by the Bernville American Legion Post 732. My remarks focused on his distinguished military service that should serve as an inspiration to everyone.
On Sunday, I also had the honor of participating in Mahanoy Cityís Memorial Day program , which was held at the Veterans Memorial Park. The event highlighted the tremendous sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform throughout our nationís history.
My remarks paid tribute to the incredible adversity faced by members of the military during times of conflict. While our nation has paid a heavy price for freedom, we must always remember that the alternatives were much, much worse. The brave men and women who laid down their lives to protect our nation are heroes without equal, and their sacrifices should always be honored, remembered and revered.