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President Obama today paid tribute to the veterans of the Korean War, marking the 60th anniversary of the war’s end. "Perhaps the highest tribute we can offer our veterans of Korea is to do what should have been done the day you came home,” the President said during remarks at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. “In our hurried lives, let us pause. Let us listen. Let these veterans carry us back to the days of their youth, and let us be awed by their shining deeds."
You, our veterans of Korea, deserved better. And down the decades, our nation has worked to right that wrong, including here, with this eternal memorial, where the measure of your sacrifice is enshrined for all time. Because here in America, no war should ever be forgotten, and no veteran should ever be overlooked. And after the armistice, a reporter wrote, “When men talk in some distant time with faint remembrance of the Korean War, the shining deeds will live." The shining deeds will live.
The President asked that we not just to listen to the stories of these veterans, but learn from them:
Korea reminds us that when we send our troops into battle, they deserve the support and gratitude of the American people -- especially when they come home. Today, let us remember that -- right now -- our sons and daughters continue to risk their lives, give their lives, in Afghanistan. And as this war ends and we welcome them home, we will make it our mission to give them the respect and the care and the opportunities that they have earned.
President Obama closed by offering these heroes the thanks of a grateful nation:
Veterans of the Korean War -- in the spring of your youth you learned how short and precious life can be. And because of you, millions of people can keep on living it, in freedom and in peace. Your lives are an inspiration. Your service will never be forgotten. You have the thanks of a grateful nation. And your shining deeds will live -- now and forever.