Tammy Mulchi: Some thoughts before Memorial Day

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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I hope we will all remember those who gave up their life for our nation and our way of life next Monday. For those of us who have lost a loved one in service to the country, it is a much different day, often spent reflecting on those lost. Those families frequently suffer from thinking about the memories of their time together. Most of us are fortunate that we are not in their situation. That dynamic makes it much more important that we take some time on Monday to join them and celebrate the lives that have been lost for us.

Most communities will have services to recognize those patriots and their lives. I encourage you to give up an hour of your day to show your respect. This is a good opportunity each year for communities to unite and memorialize. Doing this might begin to bring us together, particularly during this period of strife, when we are seeing and hearing so much in the news that focuses on division within our nation.

Memorial Day is reserved for those who died in the military. May 15 is a separate day our nation sets aside every year to honor the lives of law enforcement officers who have died while serving our communities, state, and nation. While there is no three-day weekend or big store sales like Memorial Day, it is just as important.

Those officers lost their lives within our communities. While they knew the danger in their chosen career, they volunteered anyway. They know there are always risks on the highway when trying to arrest lawbreakers or stepping into domestic disputes. But, regrettably, a very unsettling thing has been occurring all over the country in the last few years. Evildoers are luring law enforcement officers into traps where they are sitting ducks to attack.

Rarely do these people know or care who the officer is. They just want to kill them. In the first months of this year, fifty-eight have been killed. Of those, twenty-one died by gunfire.

We, as a society, should ask ourselves, why? Is it because of uncontrolled immigration? We know some are criminals that are coming across our southern border unchecked. They often come from places with less respect for life than Americans have traditionally held. Is it because there are guns in the hands of those who should not legally have them, the ones sold on the street? Is it because of increased gang activity brought about because of drugs on our streets? These drugs have increased as our border problem worsens. Is it because of the unraveling of the family structure that leaves young people without a stable household where most of us were taught respect for others?

Whatever the cause or combination of causes, we must reverse this trend to remain a free society. So many have given up much for our freedom and our communities. Please honor both groups as we should.

As always, my staff and I are here to assist you with any issues or concerns you may have. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can be of service. I hope everyone enjoys a safe and fun Memorial Day as we reflect on the profound contributions of our fallen heroes and the enduring legacy they leave behind.

Tammy Mulchi serves as the District 9 state senator. She can be reached at senatormulchi@senate.virginia.gov or by calling 804-698-7509.