The sacrifices of the men and women who have served the United States in uniform are the source of the nation’s strength, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here last night.
In remarks at the National Memorial Day Concert held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and televised nationally on PBS, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey highlighted the bravery and dedication of military members and their loved ones.
“On Memorial Day, we pause to reflect on their courage,” the nation’s top military officer said. “We renew our strength -- the strength of our nation -- from their devotion.”
Dempsey noted that since the dawn of the republic, Americans have placed great trust in the men and women who are willing to fight or die in any region of world in defense of the nation’s ideals.
“We rededicate ourselves to our national purpose to secure the blessings of liberty,” the general said. “We decorate our homes and our hearts in the colors of America, and we honor those who have so honored us: men and women from every corner of our country in every branch of service who gave their lives so that we can live free.”
And while it is the American people’s responsibility look back, the chairman said, it also is incumbent on them to look forward and note the sacrifices of those now serving in Afghanistan and around the world.
“So they are out there today -- America’s sons and daughters … lacing up their boots for another day on the front lines for our common defense,” Dempsey said. “In the footsteps of the generation before, they’ll marshal the day with courage and with commitment to make a difference for each other and for people they’ve never even met.”
Dempsey also recognized the communities and family members who provide critical foundations to those who wear the uniform.
“Behind every one of them are the pillars of strength at home: a parent, a spouse, a son, daughter, a community -- all doing their part to take care of America,” he said