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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

The Resident: A Message From Congressman Joe Courtney

May 16, 2018
Op-Ed

By: Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02)


(Above photo: The crew of the USS Tullibee (SS-284), a Gato-class submarine built at Electric Boat and launched on November 11, 1942. The ship sank while on patrol in the Pacific on March 26, 1944.)

 

Each year, as May ends and we prepare to welcome another summer season, our nation takes a moment to pause and remember the fallen men and women who gave their lives while defending our freedom. Memorial Day serves as a solemn reminder to the American people of the sacrifice made by the members of our Armed Forces and their families.


In Southeastern Connecticut, Memorial Day carries a special meaning since it is home to Naval Submarine Base New London, the oldest submarine base in the country. Sailors from the base have served in every major conflict dating from the first World War to the present time. Our submarine force played a particularly significant role in our nation’s victory during World War II.

 

Each year, as May ends and we prepare to welcome another summer season, our nation takes a moment to pause and remember the fallen men and women who gave their lives while defending our freedom. Memorial Day serves as a solemn reminder to the American people of the sacrifice made by the members of our Armed Forces and their families.


In Southeastern Connecticut, Memorial Day carries a special meaning since it is home to Naval Submarine Base New London, the oldest submarine base in the country. Sailors from the base have served in every major conflict dating from the first World War to the present time. Our submarine force played a particularly significant role in our nation’s victory during World War II.


After the attack on Pearl Harbor decimated our surface fleet of warships, the submarine force, which was largely left intact, was forced to bear the weight of battle in the Pacific until the rest of the fleet could be reconstructed. As Admiral Nimitz once remarked, “It was to the submarine force that I looked to carry the load. It is to the everlasting honor and glory of our submarine personnel that they never failed us in our days of great peril.”


The price that our submarine force paid for this service was heavy. The cost of their efforts was fifty-two submarines and over 3,600 men. Nearly one in four submariners would be lost in the war. Ever since that time, Memorial Day in southeastern Connecticut has held a special significance because it is a place that suffered so many terrible loses at a moment when our Navy had been nearly crippled.


Eastern Connecticut is home to thousands of military families, as well as the largest population of veterans in our state. Representing this region comes with the privilege of serving as their voice in Congress. Whether it’s assisting with lost medals, working with the VA to secure the benefits our veterans have earned, I consider it a sacred duty to serve them and their families.

 

As I have done each year since joining Congress, I will spend this Memorial Day weekend meeting with veterans and servicemembers across our region to show respect for the fallen. I hope this commemoration will remind us to honor those who have given their lives for our freedom by upholding the promise to care for our military veterans today.

 

I wish everyone across Eastern Connecticut a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.


Click here to read the op-ed as published on TheResdient.com