WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar issued the following statement on Memorial Day:

"All across our state, families gather each Memorial Day to remember the brave men and women in our military who we've lost. It's a time to reflect on how we honor these fallen heroes and how to best treat those heroes still with us.”

"Earlier this month, I had the honor of attending Quentin Gifford's committal service at Fort Snelling.”

"Quentin was from Mankato and served on the U.S.S. Oklahoma when it was torpedoed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Navy awarded Quentin both the Purple Heart and the World War II Victory Medal after his death.”

"Quentin's remains were left unidentified among hundreds of sailors buried in a group grave near Honolulu. He remained listed as lost in action for more than 74 years.”

"Lost but not forgotten, Quentin's two brothers - both veterans - provided DNA to forensic scientists that helped identify their brother's remains. And earlier this month, Quentin was brought back to Minnesota to get the service he deserved.”

“I was able to join his family for his burial service. His family's story exemplifies heroism - three of the Gifford brothers answered the call to serve in World War II.”

"But Memorial Day means more than honoring those who we've lost, it also means dedicating ourselves to those who served, sacrificed, and are still with us today."

"I have always believed that when we ask our young men and women to fight in defense of our nation, we make a promise that we will give them the resources they need to do their jobs. We also promise to take care of them when they return home.”

“That’s why Republican Senator Thom Tillis and I introduced the Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act. It would create a center of excellence within the VA to help prevent, diagnosis, treat, and rehabilitate health conditions of those that have been exposed to burn pits during the wars. I am working hard to get this bill passed this year.”

“It’s for veterans like Amie Mueller, who served in Minnesota's National Guard. She did two tours in Iraq and was stationed right next to one of the most notorious burn pits. It operated 24/7 and consumed up to 200 tons of waste each day.”

“Amie tragically passed away last year, nine months after being diagnosed with Stage III pancreatic cancer. She left behind her husband, Brian, and their three children. Since Amie's death, I've gotten to work with Brian. He's made one thing clear to me: we can't let these toxic burn pits become this generation’s Agent Orange.”

“We can't let history repeat itself - our veterans deserve better.”

“So to all the veterans throughout Minnesota, thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your patriotism.”

"Let us remember what these men and women have done for our country. Let us give them the respect they've earned. And let us work to provide them the care they deserve."