02/18/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Day to Serve

For me, Monday is a day on--not a day off--to serve my country. I remember standing as a boy, watching President Kennedy's inauguration many years ago. I remember being inspired as he asked his fellow citizens to serve their country, to give back to the country that has given us so much. Those words have stayed with me throughout my career. Whether it was during my time in the Peace Corps, building libraries in the Dominican Republic, or my time in Congress, working to expand service opportunities, I have strived to serve my country in all endeavors.

This Monday, I look forward to putting together care packages for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Service members from my home state of Connecticut and across the county put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms, and I am happy that Mayor Fenty, Serve DC and Operation Gratitude have provided us with one way to give back.

I can think of no better way to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. than to come together and make a real difference in the lives of others. I hope that Americans across the nation will use this day of service as a spring-board; not a single-day event, but a start to a lifetime of continued service. I am encouraged that President-Elect Obama has displayed such a strong and genuine commitment to service, and I look forward to working with him in the Senate to expand service opportunities for Americans of all ages. To check out what I've been doing to promote national service in the Senate, check out my website.

I'm looking forward to serving on Monday--I hope to see you there.

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