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Representative Stephen Meeks
Representative Stephen Meeks
May 25, 2020
Governor Hutchinson Delivers Memorial Day Address

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson delivered remarks today at a Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.
The following is a transcript of his remarks:

I want to express my thanks to Major General Penn for his leadership; to Colonel Todd and his great work with our veterans administration, and for making sure that we appropriately honor our veterans each year and every day in the way that we serve our veterans; to Commissioner Tommy Land, thank you for being here; the representatives of the Arkansas veteran service organizations for your continued leadership each year; to the Gold Star families that are here, representing a family that has given the sacrifice, we are grateful for you being here, but also for what you mean to our nation; and then to Congressman French Hill, who is here faithfully every year, rain or shine, mask or no mask, he is here to support our veterans.

We are gathering today in a difficult and confusing time in world history. We are gathering, of course, to remember those who fought and died to preserve freedom and to protect our homeland. In many states, you will not see this observance. In many states they have canceled their memorial services. And I am glad that in Arkansas that we have decided to go ahead and to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice today, even though it is under unusual circumstances and protocols. It is important that we gather today to honor their sacrifice to our country, because without their sacrifice, our country would be totally different today, and the world would be change and not for the better. The world would be in a darker place, with the light of freedom dimmed in Europe, Asia, and many places around the globe; but throughout our history, American men and women of valor have taken up arms and pushed back against the night. Thousands of those brave warriors lie at rest here at the State Veterans Cemetery. Today, we remember them and honor them for their service and sacrifice.

It is reported that during the dark days of the American Revolution, when literally all was at stake, many had gone back home, had deserted, some had died from illness, and from their war wounds, it was a difficult and dark time in the American Revolution. And it was said that during one night, General George Washington gave the command 'tonight put none but Americans on guard.' And we have thought about, for centuries actually, what did he mean by that phrase, because at that time, many in the service of our newfound country, were not born in America. So, it's not talking about their nationalism. It was talking about their spirit. He wanted those Americans on guard who understood freedom and the depths of their soul, and understood sacrifice that was necessary to preserve and to win that freedom. It was those soldiers that understood that freedom that we remember today that have paid that sacrifice. In other words, those during the American Revolution, and since then, that have given of themselves have reflected the American spirit, and the American character, and the American spirit and character does make a difference for the world.

Today, we face another enemy, it is a deadly virus – cannot be seen. It silently attacks and kills. Almost 100,000 Americans have lost their lives within 100 days as a result of this new enemy. How do we respond? Well, we respond the same as Americans have responded for more than 200 years: with grit by calling upon the strength of the American character, and the resilience of the American spirit.

There's a historic picture that I found over the weekend. It's a historic picture that's circulating in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a picture of Grant Stadium, the football stadium in 1918. Now think about 1918 for a moment. We were right at the conclusion of World War I. We had lost so many Americans during that global war. But we were also hit by a global pandemic that ultimately killed 600,000 Americans. It was a different day in time. But the picture of Grant Stadium, where Georgia Tech plays, they had a picture one of the football arena, then they had a picture of the stands. And in the stands, you saw all of the fans, wearing face coverings and appropriately, socially distancing six feet apart. That was over 100 years ago. They reflected the spirit of our great country, war in Europe and a deadly virus at home, yet life went on with common sense protections. And if they can go to a football game, surely, we can come here today in these unusual circumstances to honor those that have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Let me assure you today that we will win this fight as well. I am more confident than ever because of the ingenuity and hard work of our medical professionals, and because the American spirit, which replaces fear with action, common sense and compassion. So today, let's remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. Let's continue to enjoy our freedom. And let's work to protect those who are neighbors, fellow Americans, and friends. God bless the United States of America.
Representative Stephen Meeks
Representative Stephen Meeks
Today we remember those who've paid freedom's ultimate price.

We honor their sacrifice by making sure the torch of freedom burns bright and that when the time comes it is handed down to the next generation of Americans.
Representative Stephen Meeks
Representative Stephen Meeks
President Trump's Proclamation on Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2020

Since the first shots fired in the Revolutionary War, Americans have answered the call to duty and given their lives in service to our Nation and its sacred founding ideals. As we pay tribute to the lives and legacies of these patriots on Memorial Day, we also remember that they sacrificed to create a better, more peaceful future for our Nation and the world. We recommit to realizing that vision, honoring the service of so many who have placed love of country above all else.

As Americans, we will always defend our freedom and our liberty. When those principles are threatened, we will respond with uncompromising force and unparalleled vigor. Generation after generation, our country’s finest have defended our Republic with honor and distinction. Memorials, monuments, and rows of white crosses and stars in places close to home like Arlington, Virginia and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as well as far-flung battlefields in places like Flanders Field in Belgium and Busan in Korea, will forever memorialize their heroic actions, standing as solemn testaments to the price of freedom. We will never take for granted the blood shed by these gallant men and women, as we are forever indebted to them and their families.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Allied victories over Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II. As we commemorate these seminal events, we also remember the tremendous cost at which these victories came. More than 400,000 souls of the Greatest Generation perished during this titanic struggle to liberate the world from tyranny. In his address to the Nation on Japan’s surrender, President Truman’s words remind us all of our enduring obligation to these patriots for their sacrifice: “It is our responsibility — ours the living — to see to it that this victory shall be a monument worthy of the dead who died to win it.” As we pause to recall the lives lost from the ranks of our Armed Forces, we remain eternally grateful for the path they paved toward a world made freer from oppression.

In honor and recognition of all of our fallen heroes, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer.
I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I also request the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that, on Memorial Day, the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

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Committees I Serve On: 

  • Education
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development
  • Joint Budget  (Special Language Subcommittee)
  • Advanced Communications and Information Technology, Chair

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  • Family Council’s Statesman of the Year Award for the 2019 Legislative Session
    Pro-Family Legislative Scorecard: 100%
  • Chamber of Commerce 
    Business Matters Leadership Award for 2019


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Today we remember those who've paid freedom's ultimate price.

We honor their sacrifice by making sure the torch of freedom burns bright and that when the time comes it is handed down to the next generation of Americans.

RepStephenMeeks photo

Shot of the Ring Nebula I took last week. It was created when the star in the middle of the ring puffed off its outer layers. RepStephenMeeks photo

A small business owner from El Dorado is testifying before the City, County, Local committee about the effects of the virus on her business. #arleg RepStephenMeeks photo

 Did you know:  Rep. Meeks is the senior member of the Arkansas House of Representatives.

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