Having completed special session in accordance with the governor’s call, the capitol seemed particularly quiet week following the Memorial Day holiday. Over the weekend, flipping in between baseball games, the TV landed on a program about World War II, in particular the island-hopping campaign of the Pacific. When I tuned in, the topic was a tiny speck in the Gilbert Islands: Tarawa.
While I had certainly heard of the battle for Tarawa, I either failed to understand or had forgotten its significance. Tarawa both foretold the challenges of future campaigns and demonstrated that infantrymen, young men in the prime of life from all across the country, would die by the thousands to ensure success. Seeing pictures of Marines wading across more than a quarter mile of open reef under blankets of interlocking enemy fire took my breath away.
War is, and will always be, a young man’s game that can only be won with infantry on the ground. Technological advances and superior weapons systems are well and good and critically important, but in the end, well-trained warriors on the ground, face-to-face with the enemy, will always be needed. I am thankful for generations past who filled this role just as I am grateful to those of this generation who continue to do so.
Watching this program gave me a renewed perspective of the horror of war and the great price which has been paid over and over for the freedoms we enjoy. I am sorry to admit that I have lost this perspective from time to time. I dare say many of us have. I am grateful God provided me the opportunity this Memorial Day to more deeply reflect on the significance of the sacrifices made on my behalf.
In past reports, I made reference to SB486 which conveys a portion of the old Missouri State Penitentiary property to Jefferson City. The MSP site is a state-wide asset and attraction that has a great deal of untapped potential. This conveyance is in accordance with the master plan for the site and will allow Jefferson City and Cole County to make infrastructure investments in the property to facilitate future economic growth and development.
Jefferson City mayor Carrie Tergin and chamber president Randy Allen were outspoken advocates for, and active participants in, the passage of SB486. Representatives Barnes and Bernskoetter lead efforts in the House and ensured the legislation passed smoothly and without amendment. These individuals, as well as untold others over the last decade, have never lost sight of the significance of the MSP site for Jefferson City, Cole County, and all of central Missouri. I look forward to the governor signing SB486 and I look forward to Jefferson City and Cole County quickly moving forward with plans for infrastructure investment to further prepare the site for growth and expansion.
I encourage you to visit our new blog: https://mosenatesidebar.wordpress.com/. Here you will be able to find more information about the bills in progress as well as watch videos and read some news.
My purpose and my intent is to serve the constituents of the 6th Senatorial District. If you are in the State Capitol during the coming weeks and months, please stop by YOUR office in Room 321.