Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Memorial [to Obama] Day! May 28, 2012

In Opinion on May 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm

What follows are 481 words out of approximately 1250 words that made up Barack Obama’s speech at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to mark Memorial Day 2012.  The words I deleted did not mention the objective or the mission of the men and women he sends to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The rest of the speech lists the names of some fallen soldiers and a few bromides about the costs and sadness of war.

Thank you very much. Please be seated. Good morning, everybody. Thank you, Secretary Panetta, for your introduction and for your incredible service to our country. To General Dempsey, Major General Linnington, Kathryn Condon, Chaplain Berry, all of you who are here today — active duty, veterans, family and friends of the fallen — thank you for allowing me the privilege of joining you in this sacred place to commemorate Memorial Day.

Together, your footsteps 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. (Applause.) We are winding down the war in Afghanistan, and our troops will continue to come home. (Applause.) After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon.

Especially for those who’ve 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 spanned that conflict.

To the families here today, I repeat what I said to the Hickmans: I cannot begin to fully understand your loss. As a father, I cannot begin to imagine what it’s like to hear that knock on the door and learn that your worst fears have come true. But as Commander-In-Chief, I can tell you that sending our troops into harm’s way is the most wrenching decision that I have to make. I can promise you I will never do so unless it’s absolutely necessary, and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation. (Applause.)

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 bear alone. As we honor your mothers and fathers, your sons and daughters, we have given — who have given their last full measure of devotion to this country, we have to ask ourselves how can we support you and your families and give you some strength?

As President, I have no higher honor and no greater responsibility than serving as Commander-in-Chief of the greatest military the world has ever known. (Applause.) And on days like this, I take pride in the fact that this country has always been home to men and women willing to give of themselves until they had nothing more to give. I take heart in the strength and resolve of those who still serve, both here at home and around the world. And I know that we must always strive to be worthy of your sacrifice.

God bless you. God bless the fallen. God bless our men and women in uniform. And may God bless the United States of America.

Give me a break.  He hasn’t a clue.

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