I recently penned a blog about Memorial Day that honored the military men and women who sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedoms.
I return to a similar theme about a momentous military event whose effects we still feel. We celebrate it today, the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing, June 6, 1944. The invasion of Europe during World War II has become forever etched in our nation’s military history.
In recent years, independent expenditure campaign committees have become a growing influence over our electoral process – not just here in New Jersey, but nationally as well. They funnel millions and millions of dollars in order to sway elections without ever disclosing the identities of their donors. This has led to a system that is dominated by wealthy special interests who remain anonymous.
“America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels.”
– Claudia Pemberton
Memorial Day is a holiday that we observe on the last Monday in May. Its origins began after the Civil War, and it was initially known as Decoration Day. It became a federal holiday in 1971.
The formal name for ALS fits in a tongue-lashing category (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and its effects are even more difficult to bear.
ALS sat in the dugout of inattention until the great Lou Gehrig, the famous first baseman for the New York Yankees, cut his career short because of it. He was 36 years old. The disease strikes the body’s motor system at the brain and spinal cord.
"Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation" -- Kahlil Gibran
We celebrate National Military Spouse Appreciation Day the Friday before Mother’s Day. On this day, we honor the contributions and sacrifices made by military spouses. Their commitment and support help to keep our country safe. America’s military spouses are the backbone of the families who support our troops during mission, deployment, reintegration and reset.
The pain is the same even if it isn’t visible. This thought occurred to me as I watched a pedestrian hobbling across the street recently and felt that empathetic twinge when you realize the discomfort that person must encounter every day.
However, there is a pain that many deal with — young and old — that disguises itself, and we only “see” it occasionally through its effect on behavior. I’m referring to the pain people suffer because of mental health issues.
I realize that I have been treading on environmental issues in recent blogs, and that isn’t an accident. I keep remembering that World Earth Day was April 22 (the most significant ecological movement in the world) and recognize that for a safe environment to have real success it needs more than a single day or even a single approach.
“The color of your skin or the thickness of your wallet shouldn’t determine your ability to breathe clean air.” These are the withering words of the Times of Trenton's Editorial Board, and it perfectly captures the spirit of Senate Bill No. 1700, my environmental justice legislation. In formal parlance, my bill would “require a person seeking a permit for a new facility, or for purposes of the expansion of an existing facility, located in a burdened community, to meet certain additional requirements before they can obtain the permit.”
Earth Day is just a few weeks away. Many of us try to be environmentally aware all year round, particularly in our recycling efforts. But, if you’re conscientious about recycling, it can get complicated at times. For example, can you recycle bottles and leave the label? (You can.) Can you recycle pizza boxes? (Nope).
April is National Fair Housing Month. As Chairman of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee which oversees housing policy in the Senate, I am passionate about ensuring that all NJ residents have a safe and affordable place to live out their version of the American Dream.