From Denise Burke
Vice President of Legal Affairs
Americans United for Life
Memorial Day is a day for heroes – an opportunity to remember those who gave their lives in service of something greater than themselves. While we rightly commemorate the sacrifices of those who came before us, it is also important to gratefully acknowledge that we are still surrounded by modern-day heroes who continue to fight for the most important of America’s founding principles: Life.
Like many Americans, I come from a family of heroes – generations of ordinary people who chose to serve their nation and their families with equal dedication. My grandfather, Francis “Al” Burke, served in the U.S. Navy in the years leading up to World War II. My father, Dennis Burke, spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroism in Vietnam.
As a little girl, I could often be found clomping around the house in my father’s combat boots or crisply marching off to bed to a drill-sergeant cadence. For all the fun my family had with the outward symbols of military service, it was the military’s core principles of dedication, honor, service, and sacrifice that remained with me.
My thoughts and prayers this Memorial Day turn to those who – like me – have worn our nation’s uniform and served with honor and distinction in places like Normandy, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They also reflect the pride and tremendous respect I feel for my current “comrades in arms” at AUL and in the larger pro-life movement. It has truly been an honor to serve alongside these selfless and dedicated heroes.