Memorial Day 2024

On Memorial Day, members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus honor the men and women of our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and lost their lives in the line of duty.

“As an Army veteran who was deployed in Iraq during one of the deadliest periods of the conflict, Memorial Day makes me very emotional,” said State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Frankfort). “In those situations, you form incredible connections with your fellow soldiers. Those friendships were the best part of my experience in the military, and it is devastating that some of those people were there one moment and gone the next. I spend Memorial Day honoring those who served with me who lost their lives defending our country, and commit to supporting veterans returning home.”

To observe the holiday and remember the lives of outstanding service members in their districts, several members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus spoke during session about their experiences in the armed forces, and to recognize loved ones who were tragically killed in action.

"As we honor Memorial Day, we remember that those who have given the ultimate sacrifice are the true embodiment of American heroes,” said Porfirio (D-Lyons Township), a Navy veteran. “These brave individuals, who once had hopes, dreams and a deep love for their country, laid down their lives for the freedoms we cherish today. This Memorial Day, I want to honor my friends who laid down their lives by sharing stories of our great times together, celebrating them not only for their heroic contributions but also for the multifaceted people they were. While we remember and honor those we’ve lost, let us also extend gratitude to their families, who have borne their loss with grace and valor.”

Members are sending support to loved ones of those killed in the line of duty, and expand their efforts to address their needs.

“Memorial Day is also a time to recognize the grief and perseverance of the families and loved ones of our military members who are often overlooked,” said State Senator Mark Walker (D-Arlington Heights), who is a Vietnam veteran and the newest member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “It is important to acknowledge their pain and work to alleviate the unique struggles they may face as the surviving spouse or child of a service member who was killed in action. I am thinking of these brave Illinoisans today, and hope they are able to find some peace after their immeasurable loss.”

To hear more from Porfirio and Hastings about the importance of Memorial Day to them and their legislative work to assist veterans, check out this recent episode of the Illinois Senate Democrats’ podcast, the Sound of the State, here.