Guest Op-Ed: Let’s honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day

Each day, brave servicemen and servicewomen put their lives on the line to defend our nation’s freedom and ideals. We owe these courageous individuals an enormous debt of gratitude for all that they do, and that’s why, this Memorial Day, I hope you’ll join me in honoring and paying tribute to those who have lost their lives protecting our nation.

Memorial Day was first celebrated here in New York State in 1866 as residents of Waterloo – in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region – came together to honor those they had lost in the Civil War by closing local businesses and lowering flags to half-staff. Our nation has since been involved in many other difficult conflicts, leading brave friends, neighbors and family members to make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the freedoms and liberties we hold so dear.

Stuart Stein was one of the valiant soldiers who proudly served his country in Vietnam. I knew him as a trusted friend and neighbor for more than 20 years, and during that time, he stood as a shining example of the patriotism and values we all share. Sadly, Stu passed away earlier this year, but I encourage each of you to keep him, his loved ones and all of our fallen heroes in your thoughts and prayers this Memorial Day.

Today, more than 50,000 members of the military call Brooklyn home and the long-held Memorial Day tradition of honoring our fallen soldiers has evolved to include recognition for the brave men and women still serving, veterans and their dedicated families.

From friends and family members who have served – like my husband, Leon – to neighbors and community heroes, one thing is clear: These selfless individuals are an inspiration to us all, and we should always make every effort to show our appreciation for their service.

If you’d like to take time to honor our heroes in uniform this Memorial Day, you can do so by attending Brooklyn’s 149th Kings County Memorial Day Parade at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 30. The parade will begin in Bay Ridge at 78th Street and Third Avenue, and will end with a memorial service at John Paul Jones Park.

Those who have been killed in action and those who are still serving abroad have forever earned our respect and gratitude, and I’ll always fight to ensure the best for them and their families. If you have any questions about this or any community issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 718-266-0267 or

Assemblymember Pamela Harris represents the 46th A.D. which includes Coney Island, Seagate, and portions of Brighton Beach, Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.