Today President Obama traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate Memorial Day, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and delivering remarks.
The President thanked members of the armed forces and veterans for their service to the United States, and paid tribute to our fallen heroes laid to rest at Arlington:
It is here, on this hallowed ground, where we choose to build a monument to a constant thread in the American character -- the truth that our nation endures because it has always been home to men and women who are willing to give their all, and lay down their very lives, to preserve and protect this land that we love.
That character -- that selflessness -- beats in the hearts of the very first patriots who died for a democracy they had never known and would never see. It lived on in the men and women who fought to hold our union together, and in those who fought to defend it abroad -- from the beaches of Europe to the mountains and jungles of Asia. This year, as we mark the 60th anniversary of the end of fighting in Korea, we offer a special salute to all those who served and gave their lives in the Korean War. And over the last decade, we’ve seen the character of our country again -- in the nearly 7,000 Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice on battlefields and city streets half a world away.
President Obama noted that, as of last year, Americans are no longer fighting and dying in Iraq, and that there is now a transition underway in Afghanistan as well. "This time next year," the President said, "we will mark the final Memorial Day of our war in Afghanistan."
The President closed by asking Americans to keep the fallen in their hearts:
On this Memorial Day, and every day, let us be true and meet that promise. Let it be our task, every single one of us, to honor the strength and the resolve and the love these brave Americans felt for each other and for our country. Let us never forget to always remember and to be worthy of the sacrifice they make in our name.