Column: Memorial Day is a time for thought and remembrance

So far, 2020 has been an unusual year filled with loss, uncertainty, and frustration. Over the past couple of months, I think we’ve all come to appreciate normalcy in a new way, and Memorial Day presents a good opportunity to think of the men and women whose sacrifices have enabled us to live the normal lives that we’re missing so much.

Wisconsin soldiers have come to rest on battlefields all across the world—from Gettysburg to the Pacific Theater and from Inchon to Fallujah. Their sacrifices have come to define our national character. How can we show proper respect to those who gave everything?

Thoughts, prayers, and tributes play an important role; that’s why we observe Memorial Day. Our responsibility goes beyond that, however. It’s up to us to acknowledge that our way of life is a gift from the fallen.

That’s a big responsibility, but one that should inspire us—it should inspire us to show our gratitude daily by striving to ensure that our country and our communities endure as a worthy tribute to their memories.

Wisconsin will bounce back from COVID-19. There will be cook-outs, parades, and festivals. Life’s pace may increase, but the memories of the fallen—of the young men and women who gave everything—should never be far away.

Our freedom is their memorial and our lives are their legacy. Let’s live lives that are a fitting tribute to their sacrifice.

Senator Patrick Testin represents Wisconsin’s 24th District and can be reached at