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Memorial Day 2012

May 29, 2012

Credit: VFW.org

Today, we come before you on this proud day of remembrance  and ask that you join us in celebrating the lives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of this great nation. I would also remind you that there has been no other nation on earth whose sacrifice has been greater than ours. Nowhere in history has there been a country before ours that has given so much to ensure freedom for others. Sacred and hallowed ground at Arlington and in the cemeteries at places like Normandy, Pearl Harbor and in Manila are a testament to the price to achieve and maintain freedom around the globe.

With this being the first Memorial Day since the end of the Iraq War, we are once again reminded of the full cost of war, from beginning to end. The Iraq War lasted over eight years and in that time we lost nearly 4,500 of the finest men and women our nation has to offer, suffering far more casualties than any other nation fighting alongside us. The same grim fact also holds true when we speak of our efforts in Afghanistan.

But the lives of our fallen warriors — Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Comrades — were not lost in vain. For each life has contributed to the evolution of America as we know it today: A free nation, a strong nation and the greatest nation on earth. As we stand together today and as we as a nation mourn the lives lost, we celebrate the lives lived and are forever grateful. Above all, in an attempt to pay back our debt to those we owe so much, as American citizens, we also must not only remember the fallen, but it is our duty to teach our youth that nothing comes without a price and that sacrifices are meaningless without remembrance.

We ask today that you not accept feelings of grief or affliction without encompassing a feeling of honor, patriotism and pride. It is said that where one story ends, another begins. Though their lives were cut short, our absent comrades have ensured that the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution is applied equally and holds true for everyone, some of whom may not have otherwise been entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The courage possessed by the men and women who we are honoring today is something that cannot be taught. Their willingness to put country first is what truly makes America the Home of the Brave. Our service men and women leave the life that they have grown accustomed to as civilians and willingly thrust themselves into unfamiliar and dangerous territories, determined to succeed in their endeavors. No matter how different these Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen are from one another, one thing remains the same: This is the land of freedom and of liberty. History and experience have provided the undisputable truth it is the home of the brave. America will always be home and a home worth dying for.

As you go about your celebrations today with your family and friends, I ask that you also give though to the families and friends who have lost their loved ones in the line of duty. We must encourage and be a part of the preservation of their spirit, dreams and sacrifices. Though we cannot fully comprehend the great sorrow that these families and friends carry, we can and must carry the memory always.

And to my fellow comrades, today, as we stand united as a nation under Old Glory — the silent sentinel of freedom that you have defended — we will forever see the faces of our fallen comrades embedded in our symbol of red, white and blue. We dedicate this day to them and vow to devote this day wholeheartedly to the preservation of their memory.

God bless all of our departed heroes.

Source Cite: https://www.vfw.org/uploadedFiles/VFWorg/MY_VFW/Memorial%20Day%202012.pdf

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