In honor of those who have given their lives to protect our country and keep us safe. When called they left their homes and their loved ones to serve their country knowing they may not return. Please take a moment today to remember the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve in the United States Armed Forces.
President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address: Honoring Our Fallen Heroes this Memorial Day:
Excerpts from President Obama’s Memorial Day Speech at Arlington National Cemetery:
“From the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan, they stepped forward and answered the call,” Obama told hundreds gathered in the humid, midday heat at the cemetery, which is across the Potomac River from the capital.
”They fought for a home they might never return to; they fought for buddies they’ll never forget. While their stories may be separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles, they rest here, together. Side by side, row by row. Because each of them loved this country and everything it stands for more than life itself.”
Heeding to custom, Obama also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, pausing to reflect and pray as a lone bugler played taps.
Obama took pains to point out that “for the first time in nine years Americans are not fighting and dying in Iraq.”
That declaration drew applause, as did his pronouncement that “we are winding down the war in Afghanistan and our troops will continue to come home.
“After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon,” Obama said, pointing out that we need to remember not only the fallen but their families too.
“As a country, all of us can and should ask ourselves how we can help you shoulder a burden that nobody should have to bear alone,” he said.
“Sending our troops into harm’s way is the most wrenching decision that I have to make,” Obama said. “I can promise you that I will never do so unless absolutely necessary, and that when we do we must give our troops a clear mission and full support of a grateful nation.” (abcnews)
And of course, I would be remiss if I did not include “The Star Spangled Banner” as performed by the recently departed Ms. Whitney Houston:
I still get chills when I listen to her perform this song but of course nothing compares to the feelings of those who have lost loved ones – spouses, fathers, mothers, daughters and sons – in serving our great nation. To those who have served, thank you for your sacrifice and dedication, your commitment to your country has not been in vain. God Bless.