On Memorial Day, Obama urges US to remember troops’ sacrifice

As of Friday, 2,093 U.S. troops had died in more than a decade of war in Afghanistan.
TNS Regional News
May 27, 2013

 

President Barack Obama hailed the nation’s fallen service members in a Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, in which he noted that the war in Afghanistan was winding down but not over.

“Fewer Americans are making the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan, and that’s progress for which we are profoundly grateful,” Obama said Monday. “And this time next year, we will mark the final Memorial Day of our war in Afghanistan.

“But even as we turn the page on a decade of conflict, even as we look forward, let us never forget, as we gather here today, that our nation is still at war.”

As of Friday, 2,093 U.S. troops had died in more than a decade of war in Afghanistan, according to Pentagon figures. More than 4,400 American troops died in the Iraq conflict, which Obama declared concluded in December 2011.

That shift was reflected in the fallen troops Obama chose to honor during the Arlington ceremony, which was attended by first lady Michelle Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

At last year’s event, Obama focused on service members who died in Iraq. This year, Obama praised and spoke briefly about Army Capt. Sara Cullen, Army Staff Sgt. Frankie Phillips and Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Christian, all of whom died in Afghanistan.

“Today, just steps from where these brave Americans lie in eternal peace, we declare, as a proud and grateful nation, that their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Obama said. “And just as we honor them, we hold their families close.”

Obama, who greeted mourners at the cemetery after his remarks, also marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the fighting in the Korean War. More than 54,000 U.S. service members died in that conflict, which is not officially over.

The president also urged Americans to remember the fighting still underway in Afghanistan, where more than 60,000 U.S. troops remain.

“Not all Americans may always see or fully grasp the depth of sacrifice, the profound costs that are made in our name — right now, as we speak, every day,” Obama said. “Our troops and our military families understand this, and they mention to me their concern about whether the country fully appreciates what’s happening.”

He concluded: “Let us never forget to always remember and to be worthy of the sacrifice they make in our name.”

———

By Matt Pearce - Los Angeles Times (MCT)

©2013 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

luvblues2

Then bring 'em home, you frippin' clown. We don't belong over there.

JACKEL

Yea,bring them home and send him and his Muslim Cabinet to Iran.What a hypocrite.Now he wants to destroy are energy production.There is nothing he won't do to destroy this country !

44846GWP

Muslim Cabinet? Sure. "our" not "are".

JACKEL

There are eight presently,and one is a Hussein and one is an adviser to The Homeland Security Dept.Now that should make you feel safe.Bozo declared the war on terror over and the news is predicting a major attack soon.In The UK former Christian Muslim's cut a soldier head off and asked the bystanders to take pictures.We are not immune to this with that nut case in the Out House !His hatred of this country is to destroy it and he will succeed at the rate he is going !

44846GWP

Wow, you got issues. What you say about his cabinet is b.s. Turn off Glenn Beck and get an education.

ladydye_5

He forgets our fallen, he forgets the sacrifices, he has left MANY veteran's out to dry. I remember every day. Not just when the president tells me to on a holiday.

Contango

Quite a busy tour the ol' Comforter-in-Chief has been on:

Moore, OK on Sun., Arlington Cemetery on Mon., and back to NJ to survey clean-up efforts of Sandy today. WHEW!

Without calamities and ceremonies to help deflect attention from his failed presidency, he might have to quit campaigning and have to ACTUALLY govern - NAW!

Maybe soon there'll be some tragic house fire outa state that in his mind will require his 'special' attention?

Have no fear: Obama leads after-the-fact and from behind!

As David Lee Roth once said at the MTV Music Awards:

It's not whether you win or lose; it's how good you looked!

rogerthat

What? He's doing an excellent job. We're still involved in wars for profit. He's protecting Monsanto and Wall Street. Agri-business and oil companies are still destroying the environment and collecting subsides for doing it. He's also providing Republicans and the NRA with tons of fund raising material. I would think you would be pushing for an end to term limits.

Cliff Cannon

It was my great wish as a young man to never have another President to intensely dislike ( hate ? )as much as I --to this day--- intensely dislike l.b.j. ( Please note the disrespect in the uncapitalized initial's )


Sadly , this one is quickly moving up to l.b.j. status in my world.

Contango

@ Cliff Cannon:

Last wk. I was talking to my spouse and told her that with Pres. Obama’s "scandelabra" (IRS, DOJ and Benghazi), that he was beginning to reminded me less of Pres. Nixon and more like OH’s own Pres. Harding - surrounded by incompetents.

The very next day, someone made a similar and more articulate observation:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20...

Cliff Cannon

@ Contango : That was indeed a very interesting observation by John Dean here. And after all if anyone would have a pretty clear picture of Mr. Nixon's 'Watergate' world, it would be him.


The correlation between Mr. Obama's handling of his scandals and Mr. Harding's handling of his, is as shocking, as it is telling. My biggest complaint with Mr. Obamas handling of his scandals, is his massive ego seems not have to deflated one iota.


One of the great lessons of my youth was from J.F.K. who I read about constantly. After the " Bay of Pigs " disaster. J.F.K. admitted to the public --he screwed up. So his polls rather than falling, shot up.


To this day I truly believe if one admits mistakes, not only will they feel better about themselves ( because who can lie to the man in the mirror)but more importantly to a public figure----the people, knowing they don't have a lair on their hands will trust them more. To bad Mr. Obamas ego doesn't get that


P.S. Personal note : Harding, me & Andy Jackson's man in the White House-- Polk share the same birthday. ( The only day which has 2 Presidents born on it) Don't you just love it, how in everyone of our presidential discussions. I manage to get Jackson into it :)

Contango

@ CC:

Interesting b-day info.

Reminds me of Pres's Jefferson and Adams both dying on July 4th and it also being the birthday of Calvin Coolidge.

We lived in Marion for about one yr.

Marion is the birthplace of Warren G. Harding AND perennial Socialist Pres. candidate Norman Thomas.

During the 1932 election, the Socialists gained almost 1 million votes.

After the election, FDR adopted much of the political platform of the Socialists (New Deal, et al.) and they never potentially posed a threat to the Democrats again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nor...

http://wps.pearsoncustom.com/wps...

Contango

@ CC:

Ever heard of the Depression of 1921? NO?

Because Pres. Harding did one h*ll of a job - unlike the fascist, misguided present occupant of the WH.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/192...

Cliff Cannon

@ Contango : Don't forget Harding had 3 advantages back then. First of all; Harding was a man of great integrity publically inspite of his womanizing. Then, we had the advantage of not being in ruins as was Europe was then. So escaping the downturn of '21 was easier.


Then toss in, we had Calvin Coolidge who made a career out of saying 'no' to darn near every cost escalating budget proposal sent to him succeeding Harding.


Makes one wish we could dig up Coolidge and put him back in power, doesn't it ?

44846GWP

Cliff, I will admit L.B.J. and Nam was a disaster. But he did get the Civil rights Bill of 1964 passed. On domestic issues he had a strong record, but sadly Viet Nam is what he most rememberd for. As for J.F.k. who I most admire, don't waste your time trying to tell Winnie anything as he hates all Kennedys. He doesn't understand that without J.F.K's skill during the Cuban Missle crisis we wouldn't be here today. Take care!

Cliff Cannon

@44846 GWP : Long time, no debate. Got, hopefully interesting point's here. First one is I don't think l.b.j. should get much credit for JFK's Civil Rights bill passing. ( although, I will gladly give him credit for the budget breaking costs of his 'Great Society' :)


As I remember it, JFK had a major t.v. speech pushing civil rights, shortly before his death. So a grief stricken congress, passed that bill not only because it was right, but also to honor JFK. ( just how I see it. Don't make me right)

This next point is a history mystery. On Feb.9,1964 the Beatles exploded in America via the Ed Sullivan show as we all know. My unanswerable point is wondering if they would've gotten as big as they did. Had JFK not died and left such a painful gaping void in leadership of the young people.


Great evening to you

JACKEL

Don't forget giving him credit for destroying SS.There were two pres.in my time,Ike who threw out all the illegals so the troops would have jobs when they came home and Harry who did the same after WW2

JACKEL

And why was there a Cuban Missile Crisis,because of JFK.If he had given air support as promised by Ike,Castro would have fallen !Those poor people have lived in slavery for over 50 years because of JFK.

Cliff Cannon

@ Jackel : Must disagree. The Cuban missile crisis came about from what I have read is because Khrushchev judged JFK to be a wimp at their Vienna Conference soon after JFK took oFFice.


When one thinks about it, it rings true. Khrushchev, who came to power in a very brutal Darwinian society. Up against JFK the ultimate playboy, who rode his fathers wealth to power. Would obviously have felt his political superiority, wouldn't he ?


As for air support. It is obviously paramount to any modern military victory. Yet, without ground support it is still not enough as N. Vietnam who had more tons of bombs dropped on them than did Germany in W.W. 2 will testify to.


Bottom line as JFK knew then is w/o ground troops the Bay of Pigs invasion was doomed to failure and with ground troops, the Russians most assuredly would've moved into Berlin. ( the famed ' Wall' would be built 6 months later) Bottom line; Who would've wanted W.W. 3 over Cuba ?

44846GWP

Cliff, you are right about the Cuban missile crisis. Jackel has no clue about a lot of things.

Cliff Cannon

@ 44846 GWP : Got to disagree. " Jackal " In my viewpoint does oFFer quite a few good observations. However, as always when reading history. One is left with these questions ? How many different ways did I look at this topic as well as who wrote those observations, I learned from ?


So who's right and who's wrong can in fact become a whole nother topic, true ?


Just like our original topic. Which because, I consider you an intelligent man. I ask this question again : Do you think lbj's Medicaid, Medicare legislation of 1965, which brought the federal gov't full force into the medical care field is the root cause of the massive expense it is to see a doctor ?


If so, even though you ---continue to shock me by being a liberal ---- do you think " Obamacare " will further add to the cost problems in health care, as well as sink many a small business. Or do think it is has it's merit's and will not end up like lbj's health care " improvements " ?


Can hardly wait for your reply ! Great day to good man

Cliff Cannon

@ 44846 GWP : I apologize. In my haste to take any sort of credit from lbj for the civil rights bill JFK started. I neglected the most tangible proof of his---in my opinion-- of his misguided domestic policy's.


Further, I admit I dislike him so much that if my shoelace broke I would attempt to blame him. Still consider this.


Graph the costs of medical care since his 'Great Society ' implemented Medicare/Medicaid in 1965. Literally medical costs sky rocket upward, since the federal gov't got involved, don't they ?


Of course, you don't need me to tell you that your Mom could aFFord to take you to the Dr. as boy or that you nor anyone else not on welfare can aFFord to go today, do you ?


So the cost of medical care along with major city's ruined by welfare benefits ( no incentive to work, right ? ) are indeed part's of his legacy. Would you agree ?


Most of all, if you do agree; What do you think 'Obamacare' will do to not only our medical care considering the federal gov't is running it,but our economy as well ?


As always agree or disagree. I truly enjoy our debates

KURTje

Or cliFF if you are real about this, McCain & Obama both stated we'd be there for the long haul. Obama stated we'd get out of Iraq, McCain had no timeline. Election talking points. Sure wish many here possessed a DD-214 tOO.

arnmcrmn

The timeline for the IRAQ withdraw was set in place by president Bush long before Obama was president.

Cliff Cannon

@ kURTje: I have 2 problems here. One is that when you tell your enemy " we are leaving at this time " What do they do ? Lay low as well as plan for a better --for them day, true ? So why tell them your leaving ?


As for the 2nd. Iraq war, I believe --wholeheartedly--- it was nothing but a mistake from the start. What the hades were we doing there spending American lives, as well our national treasury for ? When anyone has a clear answer to that question,please clue me in


As to Afghanistan, I firmly believe we had no choice but to attack there considering our long running desire to interfere in world events.


Obviously, the Afghans are one bunch of tough S.O.B.S. They walloped the British, the Russians and will be fighting long after we have left.


Still considering the Taliban's training for our destruction there, what choice did we have but to invade as well as stay there for " the long haul " ? Yet, why announce we are taking -- the deciding factor there---- our air power, as well as our troops home in '14 ? So our enemy's can prepare ?


Bottom line : I spoke with my Marine daughter who is learning to speak Arabic at a Marine language college Sunday. She has a friend who is learning 'punjab' ( sp ) the Afghan language and that friend has been taught that the 'average' Afghan is as most 3rd. world people --undereducated -- and might not understand their own language when properly spoken.


Still, they can fight like few others. So we are indeed stuck there for " the long haul " aren't we ?

swiss family

I happen to think that the President is doing an admirable job, especially with the disaster that he inherited when he took office.

I don't think that his critics are seeing the entire picture. Bush and Cheeney, and Rumsfield should all be charged with treason for the misguided war games that they played, to take away American's rights, and to declare war, and then to profit from that war, which was never going after the people that infiltrated and destroyed us within our own boundaries in the first place.

there was and still is a lot o unseen pressure as President, unlike nearly every other President in History.

With him being the first President with a different look than the 43 who went before him, he knows that every move will be judged and criticized as much as possible. I believe that he spent the first 2 years trying to make everyone happy, but sadly learned that in politics, that is impossible, So now he is his own man, doing things his way, and amazingly, the stock market , the housing rate are all on the incline and unemployment is on a downward spiral..I would have to say that he is doing a good job..despite the fact that all of the conspiracy talkers will tell you on all of the so called scandals.. they will say that "statistics WILL show..blah,..." or "If when we get the answers" how can you impeach anyone without actual proof??? I commend Rush, Glenn, and Bill, for destroying all of the credibility for anyone who is elected to hold the highest political position in our Country... shame on you

Contango

@ sf:

Without the Federal Reserve's QE and ZIRP policies, this economy would be FLAT on it's back instead of just crawling.

It's helping the stock mrt. to reach ALL TIME HIGHS. How is THAT helping the "man in the street"?

No thanks to the Puppet-in-Chief.

"Still Think The Economic Recovery Was Due To Anything Other Than Stimulus?":

http://seekingalpha.com/article/...

Cliff Cannon

# Contango : You summed it up, in my view point here. Although, I do oFFer this caveat; Inventory's do, after time, fall when servicing 300 million people. So some economic traction would indeed come from refilling those inventory's,agreed ?

Scranton Tibbs

Capitalizing the FF is getting old Fanny Farmer. Pretty sad. Wow.

Cliff Cannon

@ Scranton Tibbs : Is this all you can add to the debate on Presidents ? Now THATS sad. Must be a real bummer to be you

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