In the everyday hustle and bustle of the 24 hour news cycle, we too often forget that the men and women who serve in Congress are not just politicians. The events of the past few days reminded us in heartbreaking fashion that those we elect to represent us were are someone’s mother, daughter, father or son long before they were become a Representative or Senator.
The sacrifices made by members of Congress to serve the people they represent are enormous. Those who step forward to run for public office give up their privacy, their personal lives and – too often – their personal security. Instead of spending weekends with family and friends, members of Congress spend what we know as days off traveling across their states and districts to listen to the thoughts and concerns of their constituents. We too often forget to honor the sacrifice and service of these men and women, and fail to thank them for stepping forward to serve.
One of the bedrocks of our representative form of government is the right of the people to petition their government and speak freely to their elected representatives in Congress. We must not allow the actions of a mad man this past weekend to fundamentally alter the way we govern ourselves. We must not allow a wall of fear to be erected between the voters and those we elect to represent us.
And we must not forget to thank the men and women who offer themselves up to serve in public office. The sacrifices they make are real, as are the risks they increasingly face. The next time you see one of your members of Congress – of either party - let them know you appreciate their service. They deserve our thanks.