GREENSBURG - The public health crisis has caused many communities to cancel traditional Memorial Day parades and services, but this weekend is still the time to reflect and remember the courageous men and women who gave their life defending the United States of America. Even during this time of social distancing, every American needs to recognize the significance of Memorial Day and honor the lives lost protecting our great nation.

We have so many dedicated Hoosiers and Americans to thank for our freedoms. That includes the more than 1.1 million Americans who died while serving in the military. Memorial Day is a solemn time of remembrance for these brave individuals. While no amount of gratitude can fully repay the debt owed to these protectors and their families, we can thank them for their sacrifices.

The American Legion is observing Memorial Day virtually through social media. Legionnaires, other service members and their families can submit a service member's story, photo and military information for Virtual Memorial Day. This allows us to highlight our patriots who are protecting our nation or have protected the country they deeply love. If you have a military member you want to highlight, please visit The Legion started sharing these submissions on Facebook and Twitter, with the hashtag #VirtualMemorialDay, on Friday, May 22.

We can also take part in the annual National Moment of Remembrance. At 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, Americans are encouraged to take a minute of silence to reflect on the freedoms our heroes fought to give us and defend to keep. This program reminds us of our Armed Forces' commitment to defending our liberties. While we are not coming together for our community parades, we can take these 60 seconds of silence to say thank you as a symbolic act of unity.

The COVID-19 outbreak should not stop us from taking time to pay tribute to these heroic patriots. Every Memorial Day I take time to reflect upon the sacrifices of those who laid down their lives while serving and encourage others to do the same this weekend. Thank you to every Hoosier and American who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Your dedication to our country is not forgotten.

State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) represents House District 67, which includes all of Ohio and Switzerland counties, as well as portions of Dearborn, Decatur, Jefferson, Jennings and Ripley counties.

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