Obama Weekly Address: Honoring the Fallen

WASHINGTON – In this week’s address, President Barack Obama asked all Americans to join him in remembering and honoring our men and women in uniform who have died in service to the country.  The commitment these heroes have demonstrated – the willingness to lay down their lives so the rest of us might inherit the blessings of this nation – has helped make America the most prosperous, most powerful nation on earth and it is what we honor on Memorial Day. 

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Weekly Address
Washington, DC

This weekend, as we celebrate Memorial Day, families across America will gather in backyards and front porches, fire up the barbeque, kick back with friends, and spend time with people they care about. That is as it should be. But I also hope that as you do so, you’ll take some time to reflect on what Memorial Day is all about; on why we set this day aside as a time of national remembrance.

It’s fitting every day to pay tribute to the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States of America. Still, there are certain days that have been set aside for all of us to do so. Veterans Day is one such day – when we are called to honor Americans who’ve fought under our country’s flag.

Our calling on Memorial Day is different. On this day, we honor not just those who’ve worn this country’s uniform, but the men and women who’ve died in its service; who’ve laid down their lives in defense of their fellow citizens; who’ve given their last full measure of devotion to protect the United States of America. These are the men and women I will be honoring this weekend, and I know many of you are doing the same.

President Barack Obama - White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson, 5/27/10

There are any number of reasons America emerged from its humble beginnings as a cluster of colonies to become the most prosperous, most powerful nation on earth. There is the hard work, the resilience, and the character of our people. There is the ingenuity and enterprising spirit of our entrepreneurs and innovators. There are the ideals of opportunity, equality, and freedom that have not only inspired our people to perfect our own union, but inspired others to perfect theirs as well.

But from the very start, there was also something more. A steadfast commitment to serve, to fight, and if necessary, to die, to preserve America and advance the ideals we cherish. It’s a commitment witnessed at each defining moment along the journey of this country. It’s what led a rag-tag militia to face British soldiers at Lexington and Concord. It’s what led young men, in a country divided half slave and half free, to take up arms to save our union. It’s what led patriots in each generation to sacrifice their own lives to secure the life of our nation, from the trenches of World War I to the battles of World War II, from Inchon and Khe Sanh, from Mosul to Marjah.

That commitment – that willingness to lay down their lives so we might inherit the blessings of this nation – is what we honor today. But on this Memorial Day, as on every day, we are called to honor their ultimate sacrifice with more than words. We are called to honor them with deeds.

We are called to honor them by doing our part for the loved ones our fallen heroes have left behind and looking after our military families. By making sure the men and women serving this country around the world have the support they need to achieve their missions and come home safely. By making sure veterans have the care and assistance they need.  In short, by serving all those who have ever worn the uniform of this country – and their families – as well as they have served us.

On April 25, 1866, about a year after the Civil War ended, a group of women visited a cemetery in Columbus, Mississippi, to place flowers by the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen at Shiloh. As they did, they noticed other graves nearby, belonging to Union dead. But no one had come to visit those graves, or place a flower there. So they decided to lay a few stems for those men too, in recognition not of a fallen Confederate or a fallen Union soldier, but a fallen American.

A few years later, an organization of Civil War veterans established what became Memorial Day, selecting a date that coincided with the time when flowers were in bloom. So this weekend, as we commemorate Memorial Day, I ask you to hold all our fallen heroes in your hearts, and if you can, to lay a flower where they have come to rest.

  5 comments for “Obama Weekly Address: Honoring the Fallen

  1. May 31, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Obama broke the tradition of Presidents giving the Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery.
    Vice-President Biden was at Arlington National Cemetery.
    Obama gave the speech in Chicago.

    The rain storm in Chicago was so severe that Obama had to tell the audience to go home.
    There is a God;
    and He has a sense of humor.

  2. May 31, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Here’s the video, – the rain and thunder storm and the fear of a lightning strike that caused Obama to cancel the Memorial Day speech in Chicago.
    (The Vice-President was at the Arlington National Cemetery covering for this sorry excuse for a U.S. President).


  3. June 1, 2010 at 9:17 am

    The LaRouche PAC has announced a recent discovery of a birth
    certificate of one, Barack Obama, revealing the shocking truth, namely that his real initials, on this certificate read clearly as “B.P.” instead of “B.O.”
    While the location of this certificate has not yet been fully verified, as to whether it is from Kenya, Hawaii, Pluto, or from the distant galaxy of Aetherius, and thus remains to be further investigated, the initials have been fully verified as referring to- “British Puppet!”
    While the above should be taken as a metaphorical contribution to both those who fixate on his place of birth, as the reason for his having to be impeached, the serious part of it refers to his allowing British Petroleum to run the investigation of its own criminal activities.
    Obama is letting the criminals run the investigation of its own crime scene.
    Question: Why are all you liberals at the OC BLOG not outraged at this criminal environmental destruction, and that Obama appointed the head of the World Wildlife Fund, which is funded massively by British Petroleum, as the head of the investigation!!!!! What a bunch of bullshit!!!!
    Do you liberals believe anything of what you say?
    Where is your outrage???
    Join LaRouche PAC and a growing chorus of Americans in calling for the swift Impeachment or forced resignation of B.P.- The “British Puppet’ pretending to be President of the US!!!
    And Have Fun Doing it as G-d did yesterday in sending thunder and lightning and sheets of rain as the Pretender was about to open his trap!!! Go on http://www.larouchepac.com for further updates.

  4. June 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Also Apparently, Rahm Emmanuel was literally in bed with British
    Petroleum’s PR Firm in Washington DC, namely the PR Firm of Greenberg Quinlan Roselner. To Wit, Rahm actually bedded down, when he first arrived in DC, in the abode of one Stanley Greenberg of said firm named above ,which includes his
    name prominently FIRST. Stan apparently co-habits with one Rose
    De Lauro, a Congresswoman with close ties to Madame Pelosi. By the way,
    has Nancy said a Bo-Peep about BP?
    As it was once said to Shoeless Joe Jackson in the Chicago Black Sox
    Scandal of the early 20th century, “Say it ain’t so, Rahm!!”

  5. June 2, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Mr. Lauten: You have your facts wrong. The tradition was broken not by Obama. Ronald Reagan missed at least two years (one year he spoke at West Point and another year he was at his ranch). Bush 41 (a WWII veteran) never went. Bush 43, the draft dodger, missed 2001 and 2002. Bill Clinton, the other draft dodger, attended all 8 years. Obama went last year.

    Do you really expect us to do your fact checking for you every time you comment?

    And in case anyone forgot: Lyndon LaRouche was convicted of and jailed for mail fraud involving credit cards.

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