Obama to Americans: Remember real reason for Memorial Day

Girl Scout Aurora Ortiz helps place U.S. flags near head stones at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in preparation of Memorial Day in San Antonio. (AP)

President Barack Obama is asking Americans to observe Memorial Day not just with barbecues and family time but by remembering and honoring the U.S. troops who have lost their lives in service.

Obama, who has sent thousands of troops into war in Afghanistan, used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to reflect on what the country owes its men and women who have died in uniform.

“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,” Obama said. “These are the men and women I will be honoring this weekend.”

Obama said fallen troops should be honored not just with words but with deeds, including ensuring that combat troops have the support they need in the field and that veterans get the assistance they need when they return home.

“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,” the president said.

Obama said the U.S. owes its position as the most prosperous and powerful nation on earth to a commitment from the earliest years of the country “to serve, to fight and if necessary to die to preserve America and advance the ideals we cherish.”

“It’s what led a ragtag militia to face British soldiers at Lexington and Concord,” Obama said. “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.”

Obama has been criticized by some veterans groups for planning to attend a Memorial Day service Monday at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery outside Chicago, instead of going to Arlington National Cemetery as presidents often do on Memorial Day and as he did last year. Vice President Joe Biden will be at Arlington this year.

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Online:

Obama address: http://www.whitehouse.gov

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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5 Responses to "Obama to Americans: Remember real reason for Memorial Day"

  1. Carl Nemo  May 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    “It’s what led a ragtag militia to face British soldiers at Lexington and Concord,” Obama said. “It’s what led young men, in a country divided half slave and half free, to take up arms to save our union.” …extract from article

    Every Memorial Day we get to listen to these Presidents who haven’t served their nation on the field of combat wax poetically about those that have fallen in defense of their country.

    Based on the fact that British Petroleum the largest corporation in Britain and the fourth largest corporate conglomerate on the planet is polluting our Gulf, the North Slope, the Great Lakes etc. it seems in a corporate sense we lost at Lexington Green due to the fact that many generations of influence peddlars and crimpols we’ve elected to high office have sold us all out for a buck or two more to our former colonial oppressor among others…no?

    If this duty puppet we now have for our ‘dear leader’ would wrap up Iraq and Afghanistan in order to save this nation financially and in human lives then I’d give him a break, but to me and no doubt millions of other savvy Americans, the big “O” is part of the problem and not the solution for our national travails. Unfortunately we must suffer his shuffle butt, jive turkey, lying presence for two more Memorial Days in office. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. griff  May 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Sorry Barry, but I’m afraid I can’t afford to follow your lead this Memorial Day and jet off around the country in pampered elegance whilst feigning appreciation and honor for those that fought and died for the country that you so obviously despise. I guess I’ll just mow the lawn, asshole.

  3. woody188  May 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    America to Obama: Remember the real reason we elected you, to end the wars, the torture, the spying on Americans, the cronyism, and the destruction of the rights these soldiers fought and died for. If you really honor these dead service people, restore our freedom!

  4. Bill  May 31, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Woody188 said it all. What happened to the promised “Change”? All I see is the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and the middle class shrinking faster than a non-sanforized set of Long Johns stuck in the dryer on high!

    Are we going to have to fight all over again for our freedom? I’m tired of seeing our noble warriors battling for Iraqui and Afghani freedom while thieving politicians steal our freedoms without firing a shot. Maybe we need to return the army to the USA in order to protect us from what is beginning to look like our most dangerous enemy–the political hacks in Washington, DC.

    The Constitution is a noble document, but the Bill of Rights is the affirmation of our freedom and right to speak and protest against bad government. We need the latter (the Bill of Rights) before we can enjoy the provisions of the former (the Constitution), but one cannot live without the other.

    What we can live without are crooked politicians whose self-importance comes before the rights of the American People. We need to limit their terms of office and get rid of all of them every three years.

  5. Carl Nemo  May 31, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Great post Bill…! : )

    “get rid of all of them every three years.” …extract from post

    Damn…sounds to me that even three years is too long to entrust any of them with the reins of power. Maybe two years with a single term at best. Even the concept of their reelection needs to become a thing of the past. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

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