"150 years ago, war raged on hillsides and farmlands not far from where we gather today." (Via The White House)
President Obama delivered his annual Memorial Day speech Monday at Arlington National Cemetery, remembering soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Monday's speech honored the 150th anniversary of the "holy space" at Arlington National Cemetery – the traditional burial grounds for soldiers who died defending the country. (Via USA Today)
"Through almost unimaginable loss these families of the fallen have tapped a courage and resolve that many of us will never know, and we draw comfort and strength from their example." (Via The White House)
Monday's speech fittingly comes just days after President Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan where he assured troops that full withdrawal from the country would come at the end of 2014.
"You know, I know it's a little late but I was in the neighborhood so I thought I'd stop by. ... By the end of this year, the transition will be complete ... and our combat mission will be over." (Via CNN)
Secretary of Defense and Vietnam War veteran Chuck Hagel spoke prior to Obama and echoed those sentiments you just heard. (Via U.S. Department of Defense)
"Today as we conclude 13 years of war, the longest in our history ... America is approaching another period of transition." (Via The Guardian)
On Monday, neither Obama nor Hagel specifically referenced the mess at Veterans Affairs over a severe backlog for getting former soldiers their benefits. (Via MSNBC)
However, the President did acknowledge the matter in a general tone. Saying “we must do more" to make sure veterans and their familes get what they deserve. "These Americans have done their duty ... They ask nothing more than that our country does ours.” (Via The New York Times)