Weekly Columns

Honoring our veterans is an important part of reflecting on the service and the sacrifice of millions of brave men and women who have stood in defense of our nation. We demonstrate our appreciation for the courage and bravery of the Armed Forces with fitting tributes from the National Mall in the nation’s capital to communities throughout Arkansas.

As home to more than 200,000 veterans, The Natural State also benefits from the continued civic engagement of these former servicemembers. Their efforts enrich our state, support our communities and improve the lives of veterans. 

For more than two decades, the Veterans Council of Northwest Arkansas has been dedicated to honoring their fellow brothers and sisters in arms and remembering all who have served in uniform. Its members created the Veterans Memorial Park and the Wall of Honor in Bella Vista. In an exciting development, that tribute is growing. 

I was honored to join the recent groundbreaking to expand the memorial and am proud of the incredible support of the community to recognize these heroes and I applaud the efforts to commemorate their heroism and bravery in this manner.

As long as men and women wear our nation’s uniform in defense of our ideals and freedom, we have a responsibility to acknowledge their courage. That’s why I supported legislation signed into law last year to build a memorial on the National Mall honoring the veterans of the Global War on Terrorism. It will stand as a symbol of reverence to and respect for the veterans and their families, and help teach future generations about our nation’s longest war. It’s important we reflect on their noble service. 

We dedicated the World War II Memorial in 2004, decades after the conflict in Europe had ended. This delay denied veterans, and civilians who contributed to the war effort on the home front, the opportunity to see the tribute that stands as a testament to them and what they did for our country. It’s heartwarming to know veterans of the Global War on Terrorism won’t have to wait long for a national memorial.

These monuments are one way we can honor and remember our veterans who were called to serve in our nation’s uniform. We will always owe a debt to the brave men and women who have made profound sacrifices on behalf of our nation. 

That’s why I led efforts to create a national Gulf War Memorial to honor servicemembers who fought in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I’m proud of the work my staff and I did to enact that law and designate a prominent location for the memorial.

We also continue to update the many tributes to our nation’s warriors along the revered ground of the National Mall. I was proud to play a leading role in authorizing a Wall of Remembrance for the Korean War Memorial. Now the names of 43,000 Americans and Koreans who, in service to the U.S., were killed in battle, wounded in action, missing in action, or prisoners of war during the Korean War are etched in stone.

These memorials and expansions allow our fallen servicemembers’ families, their brothers and sisters in arms and all Americans to honor the selflessness, heroism and sacrifice of those who honorably defended our country. We should be proud of the efforts nationwide to recognize our Armed Forces so their service can always be remembered.