President Obama's Memorial Day Message

From Sunlen Miller:

In his weekly address, President Obama pays tribute on the Memorial Day weekend to America’s veterans, servicemen, servicewomen and their families.

“This Memorial Day weekend, Americans will gather on lawns and porches, fire up the grill, and enjoy the company of family, friends and neighbors," he said. "But this is not only a time for celebration. It is also a time to reflect on what this holiday is all about; to pay tribute to our fallen heroes; and to remember the servicemen and women who cannot be with us this year because they are standing post far from home –- in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.”

The president says that he was reminded during his commencement address Friday at the U.S. Naval Academy of the sacrifices that the servicemen and women, as well as their families, make for the country.

“We have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us,” the president said in his weekly address, “And yet, all too often in recent years and decades, we, as a nation, have failed to live up to that responsibility. We have failed to give them the support they need or pay them the respect they deserve. That is a betrayal of the sacred trust that America has with all who wear –- and all who have worn -– the proud uniform of our country.”

Obama said that he will live up to that sacred trust by sending servicemen and women into harm’s way “only when it is necessary” with the proper training and equipment, and that he is building a “21st century Department of Veterans Affairs” with the largest single-year funding increase in three decades.

Making note of the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act he signed into law on Friday in the Rose Garden, the president said that the bill will eliminate some of the waste and inefficiency in defense projects and will “better protect our nation, better protect our troops and save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.”

The president will spend a majority of his Memorial Day weekend at Camp David with his family.

-- Sunlen Miller

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