Obama leads country in marking Memorial Day
May 30th, 2011
12:09 PM ET

Obama leads country in marking Memorial Day

President Barack Obama led the nation's Memorial Day observances Monday, laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns and declaring that Americans owe "a debt to our fallen heroes that we can never fully repay."

"The blessings we enjoy as Americans came at a dear cost," Obama told a crowd at the cemetery's Memorial Amphitheater. "For those of you who mourn the loss of a loved one today, my heart goes out to you."

Military servicemen and women killed while serving their country "gave of themselves until they had nothing more to give," he said. Americans everywhere should honor their "courage," "selflessness," and "devotion to duty."

We need to "hold their memories close to our hearts and (heed) the examples they set," he said.

Earlier in the day, the president and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a breakfast for Gold Star families at the White House.

Gold Star families are those who have lost relatives serving in the military.

The president was joined for the ceremony at Arlington by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen. Both men are retiring later this year.

"It is up to us to be worthy of (the) sacrifice" of the fallen, Gates said. "For the rest of my life, I will keep these brave patriots and their loved ones in my heart."

"God bless our fallen, the missing, and their families," Mullen said. "And God bless America."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Military
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. kor

    Born'n'raised Texan voting FOR Obama 2012!!!!!!!!!!

    May 30, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Iamrightyouarewrong

    Oops sorry forgot the good thing about this weekend the great sales. W/T/F America. Money it's the root of all evil today. What a song it should be played everyday at the closing bell.

    May 30, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tim

    @iamright:

    No, you're just wrong, wrong, wrong. And a racist, to boot.

    May 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tim

    Pablum Pammy
    "Today is a day to honor our dead, not bash our President to death. Give it a rest, just for today. Please?"

    Well said.

    May 30, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iamrightyouarewrong

      Other than maybe I am a racist oh well. What do u think my points were bozo my dad died for our country and this holiday means nothing to people. A sale here a sale there. My kids had school today forget the heroes Money Money Money I had to drive by myself opps sorry choose to drive by myself so my children could finish there final exams this week. Shut up Tim and get a life somewhere. What are you 20 and don't even know the meaning of today I'm sure. Idiot and you know what deep down your a racist to I am right and you are wrong Timmy boy.

      May 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ellis

    Having a whiny kid like you your dad killed himself to get away from you! smart man

    May 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iamrightyouarewrong

      That's what I thought.

      May 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iamrightyouarewrong

      You just insulted a lot of dead men and woman you piece of **** I hope every fatherless or motherless child in America read that comment because they died fighting for this great country of ours. May they all meet you one day.

      May 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iamrightyouarewrong

      Sorry ours didn't run from the fight like yours.

      May 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Iamrightyouarewrong

    Ellis I pray to God that comment was not in my direction.

    May 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Big Game James

    @Iamright God bless your Dad. Don't tarnish the memories.

    May 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ellis

    Good morning. I'm gay.

    May 31, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ellis

    Free B/J anyone?

    May 31, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ellis-From Panama

    Come come who wants to come.

    May 31, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
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