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Memorial Day, a federal holiday every year, is Monday, May 30, 2022, this year — and it’s a special time set aside to honor the men and women who have died serving America.
Gary Sinise, the award-winning actor, humanitarian and founder of the nonprofit Gary Sinise Foundation, serves again this year as the Honorary Grand Marshal of the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC, which takes place on Memorial Day him -same.
Some 5,000 participants are expected to march down Constitution Avenue in front of a crowd of 250,000 on Monday, according to the American Veterans Center in Arlington, Va.
Sinise shared personal and deeply felt thoughts with Fox News Digital about how “incredibly important” it is to show support for American service members and their families today.
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“Memorial Day is a long tradition of remembrance for me and my family,” Sinise told Fox News Digital just before the holiday weekend.
“It is extremely important to honor the families of the dead.” — Gary Sinise at Fox News Digital
“As a nation, it is extremely important to honor the families of the dead – the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend our country,” he said.
He also said: “Through my extensive travels, visiting combat zones, our wounded in hospitals and most importantly spending time with our precious families of our fallen heroes – it has become a personal mission to honor and remembrance of those who selflessly serve and sacrifice themselves a great deal.”
“We are there for them before, during and after the battle.”
Sinise added, “It’s one of the many reasons I started the Gary Sinise Foundation, because I want all of our communities of advocates, our veterans, our military, our first responders and their families who sacrifice alongside them always know that there are grateful Americans who love and appreciate them.”
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He said: “And we are there for them before, during and after the battle.”
“When I think of my participation in this year’s Memorial Day Parade, the first parade since before the pandemic, one simple word comes to mind. Gratitude.”
“I am grateful,” he continued, “to have the opportunity to honor our dead. I am grateful to support the families of our fallen heroes.”
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“And I’m grateful for every day that I have – to continue to give it back to these brave men and women and to ensure that their memory and legacy of service to our country is never forgotten,” Sinise said.
“I am grateful to support the families of our fallen heroes.”
The Gary Sinise Foundation, established more than 10 years ago by Sinise – which for nearly 40 years has been active in its commitment to veterans, first responders and advocates – announced in April that it was moving its headquarters from Los Angeles, California to Nashville, Tennessee.
The move “completes its bi-coastal chapters in San Diego, Calif., and Orlando, Florida,” the organization said in late April.
This “will allow the foundation to expand its reach and services to more veterans, advocates, heroes and first responders who sacrifice so much.”
The foundation noted that some 430,000 veterans live in Tennessee today.
“Tennessee and neighboring states are near many active military facilities and installations.”
“In addition, Tennessee and neighboring states are near many active military facilities and installations. The move to Nashville will make it even easier to engage with local communities, including first responders and other heroes, through the United States,” the group shared with Fox News Digital.
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Sinise said in the ad that moving to Nashville “was a family decision. After 35 years in California, I started thinking about the possibility of moving.”
“With so many friends in the area, a great entertainment industry and its central location, I concluded this would be an exciting change for our family.”
“Naturally,” he added, “the Gary Sinise Foundation will also be moving.”
The move should be completed by the summer.
Through its Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment (RISE) program in Tennessee, the foundation has built smart homes for seriously injured heroes, including most recently for an Army veteran from Clarksville, Tennessee.
The group has also supported “numerous events for those who served in the Nashville area.”
Sinise, an award-winning stage, television and film actor, earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.
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His awards include a Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.
He was also nominated in 1995 for an Academy Award (for his portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in “Forrest Gump”). He has received numerous honors and awards for his humanitarian work and connection with charitable activities.
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Sinise’s best-selling memoir of 2019, “Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service,” revealed how a young “rough on the edges” from Illinois “found his calling to ensure that defenders of our country will never be forgotten,” as noted by his foundation.