This afternoon, President Obama spoke at the dedication for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, honoring heroes who have sacrificed on behalf of our nation.
In his remarks, the President made clear that we must provide proper care for our veterans, noting: "When our wounded veterans set out on that long road of recovery, we need to move heaven and earth to make sure they get every single benefit, every single bit of care that they have earned, that they deserve."
"To every wounded warrior, to every disabled veteran -- thank you," he said.
President Obama detailed what the memorial dedication means for our veterans fighting to recover from the battlefield, and how critical the sacrifices of our veterans have been:
So, today, we take another step forward. With this memorial we commemorate, for the first time, the two battles our disabled veterans have fought -- the battle over there, and the battle here at home -- your battle to recover, which at times can be even harder, and certainly as longer. You walk these quiet grounds -- pause by the pictures of these men and women, you look into their eyes, read their words -- and we’re somehow able to join them on a journey that speaks to the endurance of the American spirit. And to you, our veterans and wounded warriors, we thank you for sharing your journey with us.
Here we feel your fears -- the shock of that first moment when you realized something was different; the confusion about what would come next; the frustrations and the worries -- as one veteran said -- "that maybe I wouldn’t be quite the same."
And then here we see your resolve -- your refusal, in the face of overwhelming odds, to give in to despair or to cynicism; your decision, your choice, to overcome. Like the veteran who said, "It’s possible for a man to lose half his physical being and still become whole."
The President also highlighted the obligation we have as a country to continue to honor and support our veterans:
Here, in the heart of our nation’s capital, this memorial is a challenge to all of us -- a reminder of “the obligations this country is under.” And if we are to truly honor these veterans, we must heed the voices that speak to us here. Let’s never rush into war -- because it is America’s sons and daughters who bear the scars of war for the rest of their lives. Let us only send them into harm’s way when it’s absolutely necessary. And if we do, let’s always give them the strategy, the mission, and the support that they need to get the job done. When the mission is over -- and as our war in Afghanistan comes to a responsible end in two months -- let us stand united as Americans and welcome our veterans home with the thanks and respect they deserve.