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Thank you -- it -- -- -- for your introduction and for your incredible service to our country.
To general Dempsey.
Major general -- them.
Katherine Condon -- barrier.
All of you were here today.
Active duty veterans.
Family and friends in the fall.
Thank you for allowing me the privilege of joining U in this sacred place to commemorate Memorial Day.
These 600 acres are home to Americans from every part of the country who gave their lives.
In every corner.
Of the glow.
When her revolution needed to be -- -- and union need to be saved.
They left their homes.
And took up arms for the sake of -- idea.
From the jungles of Vietnam.
To the mountains of Afghanistan.
They stepped forward.
And answer the call.
We fought for a home they might never return to.
They fought everybody else they would never forget.
Well -- stories may be separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles.
They rest here.
Side by side.
-- -- -- Because he's a -- love this country.
And everything it stands for.
More than life itself.
Today we come together as Americans.
And remember these -- But tomorrow on this -- -- place will once again belonged to a smaller group of visitors.
Who make their way through the gates.
Across these fields.
In the heat and in the cold.
The rain and the snow.
Following well worn path to a certain spot and kneeling in front of motor -- You're the family and friends of the fall.
Parents and children.
Husbands and wives.
Brothers and sisters.
My birth and by sacrifice.
-- truly piece of your hearts beneath these trees.
Called -- sanctuary all.
Trace the path of our history.
And this Memorial Day we mark another milestone.
For the first time in nine years Americans are not fighting and dying in Iraq.
We are winding down the war in Afghanistan and our troops will continue to come home.
After a decade.
Under the dark cloud of world.
We can see the light of new day on the horizon.
Especially for those who lost a loved one.
This chapter will remain open long.
After the guns have fallen silent.
Today with the war in Iraq finally over it is.
Fitting to pay tribute to the sacrifice that -- that compliment.
In march of 2003.
On the first day of the invasion did.
One of our helicopters crashed near the Iraqi border with Kuwait.
On that were four Marines.
Corporal Brian Kennedy.
And staff sergeant Campbell.
Together they became the first American casualties of the Iraq War.
Their families and friends barely have time to register the beginning or conflict before being forced.
To confront its -- costs.
Seven months and 45 days later.
Army specialist David -- was on patrol in Baghdad.
That's when his vehicle struck a roadside ball.
He became a -- -- nearly 4500 American patriots to give their lives in Iraq.
Month after -- stuff.
The days before the last American troops including David were scheduled to come home.
I met with the Hickman family at Fort Bragg.
Right now about pigments are beginning a very difficult during that so many of your families have traveled before them.
The journey that even more families will take in the months and years ahead.
The families here today.
I repeat what I said to -- commitments.
I cannot begin to fully understand your loss.
I cannot begin to imagine what it's like to hear that knock on the door and learn.
Your worst fears have come true.
But as commander in chief.
I can tell you that sending our troops in harm's way -- most wrenching decision.
But I have to make.
I can promise you -- we'll never do song was successful in -- error.
And that when we do we must give our troops -- clear mission in the full support.
Of -- grateful nation.
And as a comfort.
And as a country all of us can and should ask ourselves how we can help you shoulder.
A burden that nobody should have to -- -- As we honor mothers and fathers -- sons and daughters.
We have given.
We who have given their last full measure of devotion -- this country.
We have to ask ourselves how -- for you and your families.
And give you some strength.
One thing we can do -- remember these heroes as you remember.
Not just as rank -- a number -- name on -- storm.
But as Americans.
Often far too young.
We're guided by a deep and abiding love for their families.
For each other.
And for this country.
We can remember jail opened the pilot who met his wife on an aircraft carrier and told his mother before shipping out.
If anything happens to me just know I'm doing.
What I love.
We forever -- -- prayer the former track star running the leadoff -- always the first one in action.
Who quit his job as -- -- and join the Marines because we want to do something more meaningful with his life.
We can remember Brian Kennedy the rock climber and -- -- fanatic he told his father two days before his helicopter went down that.
The Marines who served alongside were some of the best -- -- ever know what.
Maybe -- friends forever.
We can remember -- waters -- A proud father brought.
Some of Baltimore.
Was described by phone service member as a light.
In a very dark world.
And we can remember David Hickman.
A freshman in high school won the war began.
-- fitness fanatic who have jokingly call themselves oops.
A loyal friend.
We're and infectious laugh.
We can remember them.
And we can meet our obligations to those who did come home.
And their families were in the midst of -- different but very real battle of their own.
To all our men and women in uniform were here today and no this.
The patriots -- rest.
Beneath these -- were fighting for many things.
For their families.
For their flag.
But above all they were fighting for you.
As long as I'm president we'll make sure you and your loved ones receive the benefits you are.
America will be there for you.
And finally for all of you who -- -- special weight on your heart.
We can strive to be a nation worthy of your sacrifice.
A nation that is fair and equal peaceful and free.
The nation the way is the cost of every human life.
A nation -- all of us meet our obligations to one another.
And to this country that we love.
That's what we can do.
-- no higher honor and no greater responsibility.
Than serving as commander in chief of the greatest military the world has ever known.
And on days like this.
I take pride in the fact that this country.
There's always been home to men and women willing to give of themselves until they have nothing more to -- -- -- -- In the strength.
It was all.
Of those who still server.
-- -- at home.
And around the world.
And I know that we must always strive to be working.
-- your sacrifice.
God bless -- God bless the fallen law.
God bless our men and women in uniform and may god bless the United States of America.
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