tv President Obama Lays a Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier CSPAN May 30, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm EDT
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand and remain standing for the introduction of the president, honors, and national anthem. command chaplain, joint head forces national capital region, and the united states army military district of washington. baker,eneral bradley a united states army military district of washington. mr. patrick k hallahan, executive director commentary
♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, chaplain. >> i invite you to pray with me. god, by and ever living your mercy, the faithful departed find rest. kindly on theok servants we remember today who died in service to their country. these were sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents and patriots all, who lived in this world for too short a time,
yet made it a better world by their sacrifice. , forlonged, as we all long a world of true justice and perpetual peace. they spent themselves in service to bring about that world as they understood it. lovedoved and they were and they are loved. we may not know the name of in at rest here or on distant fields, but you know every name, lord, for every soul is precious to you. as we gather here and in places all across this land, wherever lie, we fulfill our pledge never to forget their sacrifice, but even more, we gather in hope, hope in your promises that those who lay down
their lives for another, who nobly served the cause of right, who can read their burdens faithfully -- carry their burdens faithfully not for hope of reward but for fil fulfillment of duty, will receive their reward. bless this beloved dead, lord, with only the piece that you can give, a piece that is sweet, a piece that is restful and peace that is internal. eternal. amen. >> please join united states army band in singing our national anthem. ♪ oh say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight last gleaming
whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there o say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪ >> please be seated.
ladies and gentlemen, general dunford. [applause] general dunford: good morning. mr. president, secretary carter, distinguished guests, and to the gold star families who are here, it's an honor to be with you today on this hallowed ground. as we pause this morning to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and security of this great nation, thousands of men and women continue to serve on active duty around the world -- many in harm's way. while we remember and honor the fallen, i asked that you keep those serving in our thoughts and prayers as well.
today's generations of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen is probably following in the footsteps of american citizens that answered the call to duty. since george washington called together an army, over 40 million americans have served the colors to ensure the citizens of our nation can live in freedom and peace. more recently others have answered the call to prevent terrorism. along the way, more than one million americans have given the last full measure. over 100,000 in world war i. over 400,000 in world war ii. almost 40,000 in korea. over 58,000 in vietnam. over 5000 have been killed in action since 9/11. these statistics are compelling
but they do not begin to capture the enormity of the sacrifice. for the loss of each individual brings untold anguish and grief. those statistics represent sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, good friends. those statistics represent children who grew up without their mothers and fathers. those statistics represent lives shattered, hopes and dreams never realized. today is a reminder of the real cost of freedom, the real cost of security, and that is the human cost. i do not believe our focus today should be on how these men and women died. it is how they lived that is important. it is how they live that makes us remember them. in life, these individuals chose to be something bigger than themselves. they chose to accept hardship and great personal risk. they were people who truly embodied the most important values and traditions of our nation. if we truly want to honor the fallen from all of our conflicts, if we truly want to give meaning to the sacrifice,
we will do something in addition to marketing their graves with flags and flowers. each of us believe here today with the resolve to strengthen our commitment to our nation and the values for which it stands. if we walk away from today's ceremony reminded that the cost of freedom requires sacrifice, if we walk away with a renewed sense of commitment to our we walk away reminded how important it is to defend those values, then i would offer that those who were taken from us prematurely will be able to look down and know that we truly remember them. more important, those who were taken from us prematurely will be able to look down and know that their lives had meaning. on behalf of the joint chiefs of staff and the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guard and that we are privileged to believe, thank you for bringing a meaning to the message of sacrifice. thank you for remembering. [applause]
cause the last full measure of devotion and though they cannot here are applause we honor them forever keep alive their stories treasure their lives and give them all the glory the last full measure of devotion beyond the call of duty where their deeds the last full measure of devotion they gave themselves to serve the greater need and for those who did survive aliveme back home
on high regard not havedead shall died in vain the last full measure of devotion duty were call of their deeds the last full measure of devotion they gave themselves to serve the greater need and for those who did survive home aliveck they joined the price of comrades who weren't there slain rewardedy
general dunford, warriors, veterans, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us at the solemn remembrance today. been each of the 400,000 markers here at arlington, we find a dignified memorial to the life dedicated to the noblest of collings -- to protect our people, uphold humankind's highest values, and make a better world for our children. they say that security is like oxygen. if you have it, you don't think about it. if you don't have it, it is all you think about. the patriots remembered today across the country provided that security. do the millions of service members, soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guard meant, active-duty, guard,
security.ovide that they are a long line of patriots that fought in lexington and concord, gettysburg and midway, and more recently falluja and helmut. on memorial day, we remember those who gave their lives and the noblest of callings. to our gold star families, you honor us with your presence. we know we like the words to do justice to what you feel on this day. we can never fully know. but we do know what your sector fisa means to us, to this nation -- door sacrific your sacrifices to us, to this nation. day in americaal is a line across the times, a line that connects yesterday with today and tomorrow.
we are here today and that remembrances like this are underway across this shiny land is not lost on the kids who served today. i hear this all the time. they know what it means. it means that they too are doing the noblest of things -- providing security so that americans can get up in the morning, dress their kids, kiss them off to school, go to work, dream their dreams, live lives that are full. they know it means that for all its variety, america is one in its support for them. they know that not one of them, not one ever, will be left behind. that every effort will be made to bring them home, in a matter how long it takes. they can see that too today on memorial day. the line comes to them.
now those who serve today do so in a world that has its challenges and foes for america, which our strength will counter and defeat. of that, we can be certain. but it is also a world of bright opportunities that we will grab hold of for them and for their children. we can be certain of our strength, of our success, and of our hope because our troops today make up the finest fighting force the world has ever known. a force of this caliber demands great leaders and there is no doubt that they have one in the commander in chief. how clearly he understands the challenges that we face and the obligations that we must meet to keep our nation safe and make a better world.
all, eyewitness the unending concern that he has for our men and women in uniform and their families, their safety, their dignity, and their welfare , and the boundless care with which he makes decisions that put them in harms way. for this and for much more, i'm tremendously proud to serve as his secretary of defense. please welcome the 44th president of the united states, barack obama. [applause] president obama: thank you. good morning. secretary carter, general how him,r. major general becker, members of our armed forces, veterans, and
gold starl or families, i'm honored to be with you once again as we pay our thosets as americans to who gave their lives for us all. arlington, the deafening sound of combat have given way to the sounds of silence of the sacred hills. the chaos and confusion of perfectas yielded a precise rows ose of peace. the americans who rest here and usir families, the best of for those of whom we asked everything, ask of us today only one thing in return -- that we remember them.
if you look closely at the white markers that grace these hills, one thing that you will notice is that so many years -- dates of birth and dates of death -- are so close together. they belong to young americans, those who never lived to be honored as veterans for their service, men who battled their own brothers in the civil war, those who fought as a band of brothers an ocean away, men and women who redefined heroism for a new generation. they are generals buried beside privates they led. mom.cans known as dad or some only known to god. allahan has said that everyone is here is someone
here. those who rest beneath the silence not only here at arlington but at veteran cemeteries all around the world and those who remain missing, they did not speak the loudest about their patriotism. thatlet their actions do whether they stood up in times of war or times of peace or recalled up by a draft board they embodied the best of america. as commander in chief, i've no greater responsibility than leading our men and women in uniform. i have no more solemn obligation than sending them into harm's way. i think about this every time i approve an operation as president. every time as a husband and father that i sign a condolence
letter. every time michelle and i sit at the bedside of a wounded and grief and hugged the members of a gold star families. lesson 1% of our nation wears the uniform. so few americans see this patriotism with their own eyes or know someone who simplifies it, but every day there are american families who pray for the sound of a familiar voice when the phone rings. for the sound of a level once letter or e-mail -- loved ones letter or e-mail arriving. over one million times in our history, it did not come. instead, a car pulled up to the house and it was a knock on the front door. the sound of "taps" flow through a cemetery's trees. living, those of us
who still have a voice, it is our responsibility, are obligation -- our obligation to fill that silence with our love and gratitude, not just with words but with our actions. in truly remembering and honoring these fallen veterans, it means being there for these fallen spouses and their children. the boys and girls wearing red shirts bearing photos of the mom's and dad would be so proud of you, and we are, too. truly remembering means that after our fallen heroes gave everything to bring their battle bodies home, we make sure we give everything they have earned from health care to a good job. and we have to do better. our work is never done. we have to be there not only when we need them but when they need us.
30 days before he would be late ,o rest a short walk from here president kennedy told us that a nation reveals itself not only by the people of produces but by those it remembers. serve.ryone will not everyone will visit this national sanctuary, but we remember our best in every quarter of our country from which they came. we remember them by teaching our children at schools with fallen heroes names like dorian miller elementary in san antonio. good neighbors and committees named after great generals like mcpherson, kansas. walk down sergeant men display in brooklyn or drive across hoover dam on a bridge that there's pat tillman's name. we reveal ourselves and our words and deeds but also by the simple act of listening. my fellow americans, today and
every day, listen to the stories that these gold star families and veterans have to tell. , whybout who he or she was they volunteered. ,ear from those who love them about what their smile looked like, their sound, and the dreams they had for their lives. since we gathered here one year ago, more than 20 brave americans have given their lives for the security of our people in afghanistan. we pray for them all and for their families. and our fight against isil, three americans have given their lives in combat on our behalf. today, i ask you to remember their stories as well. fourth,keating the charlie, check, or c4 was born
into a family of veterans. and the loverlie of his life, brooke, celebrated their anniversary on the fourth of july. she called him a huge goofball everybody one to be friends with. the adventurer who served and spearfish and plan to sail around the world. when the twin towers fell, he was in high school and he decided to enlist. he joined the seals because he told his friends it was the hardest thing to do. he deployed to afghanistan and three times to iraq,to iraq, eaa bronze star for valor. earlier this month while assisting local forces in iraq would come under attack, he gave his life. a few days later, one of his platoon mates sent charlie's parents a letter from iraq. please tell everyone chuck saved a lot of lives today, it said.
that bigs with signature smile on his hands and face as always. he was full of a low half but was also a ferocious warrior. today, we honor charles keating the fourth. was the sixth of seven children, a californian with an infectious wit and was always ready to help someone get through to time. when his siblings ran around the house, his parents would yell out, watch that baby safety mark. what she realizes she was raising a marine. as a teenager, he signed up. three days later on monday morning, the marines came to pick him up. that was 10 years ago. one morning this march, the marine knocked on his
mother store again. his fifth tour, he gave his life while protecting the marines under his command. putting others before himself was what we did best -- louis did best. he chose to live in the barracks with his buddies even though he could've lived in a house off base. he volunteered for friends who needed a date night. just under promotion to mentor his fellow marines. one day brought louis home, hundreds of strangers lined the freeway overpasses of southern california to salute him. today, we salute staff sergeant louis carden. [applause] joshua wheeler sister says he was exactly what was right about this world.
he came from nothing and really made something of himself. as a kid, josh was the one who made sure his brother and four half-sisters were dressed and fed and off to school. when there was not fit in the cover, he grabbed his hunting rifle and came back with a deer for dinner. when his country needed him, he enlisted in the army at age 19. he deployed to iraq and afghanistan 14 times. he earned 11 bronze stars, four for valor. last october, as isolate il terrorists prepared to execute hostages, josh and his special ops went in and rescued them. every single one walked free. dead, one of the hostages said, and then god sent us a force from the sky.
that force was the u.s. army, including josh wheeler. josh was the doting dad who wrote notes to his kids in the stacks of books he read. flying home last summer to be with his wife, ashley, who was about to give birth, he scribbled one note in the novel he was reading, just to tell his unborn son he was on his way. ashley wheeler is with us here today, holding their 10-month-old son, david. [applause]
ashley says josh's memory makes her think about how she can be a better citizen. she hopes it is what other people think about, too. today, this husband and father rests here in arlington in section 60. as americans, we resolved to be better, better people, better citizens because of master sergeant joshua wheeler. a nation reveals itself not only by the people of produces but by those it remembers. 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. andan serve others
contribute to the causes they believed in. and above all, keep their stories alive so that one day when he grows up and thinks of his dad, and american like david wheeler can tell them as well the stories of the lives that others gave for all of us. we are so proud of them. we are so grateful for their sacrifice. we are so thankful to those families of the fallen. may god bless our fallen and their families. may he bless all of you. and maybe forever bless these united states of america -- may he forever bless these united states of america. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please
>> eternal rest grant unto our beloved dead, a lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. may they rest in peace. lord, bless us all across this land that we call america with strength, wisdom, encourage. and courage. made the sacrifice of so many who died in service of our country and our world inspire us to remain to a renewed commitment to our nation and to our patriotic duty. .men >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in place until the president has departed and our colors are retired.
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] on this memorial day 2016, the amphitheater at arlington national cemetery emptying. you can see the president's comments again and the entire event on our website at c-span.org. vice president biden will be participating in the ceremony in
delaware where the national guard is honoring his late son, beau biden naming it headquarters in his castle. that is members of congress across the country are participating in ceremonies. a tweet here from daniel webster, congressman from florida -- senator john here in montana -- tammy duckworth of illinois, a wounded veteran, a morrill day -- -- memorial day -- lou -- ylvania, and in new york, representative angle --