The Oklahoma State Senate approved legislation Tuesday which would designate the first Monday of each month to honor veterans who are currently serving or were killed in the global war on terrorism. The bill now goes to the House of Represenatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 1134, authored by State Senator Earl Garrison, D-Muskogee and Rep. Wade Rousselot, D-Okay, asks all state agencies, interested organizations, civic groups and individuals to fly the U.S. flag at half-mast in remembrance of those Oklahomans who are serving or who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces furtherance of victory in the global war on terror, particularly those who have died or have been wounded as a result of such service.
Senator Garrison, an Air Force Reserve veteran, said his bill is just a small gesture to honor those who have served their country.
“Generations of Oklahomans have bravely answered the call for military service, putting their lives on the line to defend our freedom and the values that we stand for,” Garrison said. “Today, the Oklahoma Senate sent a simple, but important message which honors our veterans. We must never forget their efforts and sacrifices they have made for our nation. I applaud my fellow Senators for approving this bill and allowing it to move forward through the legislative process.”
Ken Hayes of Muskogee is a Navy veteran who served in the Korean War. He also coached basketball at the University of Tulsa, Oral Roberts University, New Mexico State University and Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. He said he strongly supports the flag bill.
“I think it is a tremendous honor to our veterans and serves as a reminder to our nation that we are still at war against terrorism,” Hayes said. “I’m very proud of Senator Garrison and his part in sponsoring this important bill.”
Rep. Rousselot concurred with Senator Garrison.
“This is a simple act to honor the heroic actions of our country’s most courageous men and women,” Rousselot said. “It is the least we can do for these American soldiers who have fought and died serving our nation, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and the principles for which we stand – freedom and democracy.”