Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered
The White House
May 28, 2016
Hi, everybody. Right now, there are American troops serving in harm’s way and standing sentry around the world. There are veterans who’ve served honorably in times of war and peace, and often came home bearing the invisible and visible wounds of war. They may not speak the loudest about their patriotism – they let their actions do that. -And the right time to think of these men and women, and thank them for their service and sacrifice, is every day of the year.
Memorial Day, which we’ll observe Monday, is different. It’s the day we remember those who never made it home; those who never had the chance to take off the uniform and be honored as a veteran. It’s the day we stop to reflect with gratitude on the sacrifice of generations who made us more prosperous and free, and to think of the loved ones they left behind.
Remembering them – searing their stories and their contributions into our collective memory – that’s an awesome responsibility. It’s one that all of us share as citizens.
-As Commander-in-Chief, I have no more solemn obligation than leading our men and women in uniform. Making sure they have what they need to succeed. Making sure we only send them into harm’s way when it’s absolutely necessary. -And if they make the ultimate sacrifice – if they give their very lives – we have to do more than honor their memory.
We have to be there for their families. Over the years, Michelle and I have spent quiet moments with the families of the fallen – husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. They’ve shared their pain – but also their pride in the sacrif