A statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:
"Today, I join millions of Americans who honor the sacrifice paid by fallen soldiers and their families. Generation after generation, beginning with the American Revolution, soldiers have stood ready to defend their country, freedoms and civil liberties with their lives.
"As a result of that sacrifice, our nation has been free, prosperous and the envy of the world throughout its history.
“Americans owe a special debt of gratitude to our fallen soldiers and gold star families. I am especially grateful that my colleagues in the state Assembly finally joined an effort I have long championed to grant the dependants of fallen soldiers free college tuition.
"I am also proud to continue the tradition of Patriot trips to Washington, D.C., the annual trip I take with veterans and their families to visit the Capitol of our country, which they fought so hard to protect.
“As the son of a World War II veteran and a veteran of the military myself, standing up for veterans is a duty I will never overlook. That is why I cherish my position on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the Assembly.
"In the coming weeks, I look forward to continuing my fight for legislation to exempt honorably discharged veterans from Thruway tolls, veterans over 85 years old from paying state income tax, and extending state benefits to promote veteran-owned businesses.
“Nevertheless, on this Memorial Day I want to extend a special salute to our fallen soldiers and all of our nation’s Gold Star families. As a nation, we must never forget their extraordinary service and patriotism.”