President Barack Obama recognized Memorial Day today, leading the traditional wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Referring to the fallen soldiers, Obama praised their service and patriotism for their country.
“They didn’t speak the loudest about their patriotism, they let their actions do that,” he said.
During his speech, he recognized the more than 20 Americans who lost their lives in Afghanistan in the past year, but also the three American casualties in Iraq in his ongoing fight against ISIS.
- Navy Seal Charlie Keating IV who was killed by ISIS in May 2016.
- Army Master Sergeant Joshua L. Wheeler who was killed in October 2015.
- Marine Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin in March 2016
Obama recalled the “solemn obligation” he had as president when sending American troops into war.
“I think about this every time I approve an operation as president,” he said.
Obama urged Americans to honor the fallen and express their patriotism with actions and not just words.
“We do so not just by hoisting a flag, but by lifting up our neighbors, not just by pausing in silence, but by practicing in our own lives the ideals of opportunity and liberty and equality that they fought for,” he said.
He also referred to the responsibility Americans have to care for the veterans admitting that “we have to do better.
“Our work is never done,” he said. “We have to be there not only when we need them but when they need us.”