President Barack Obama paid tribute Saturday to US soldiers who died in service of the country, saying Americans were committed to the ideals of freedom for which these troops had given their lives.
“We give thanks for those who sacrificed everything so that we could be free,” the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address. “And we commit ourselves to upholding the ideals for which so many patriots have fought and died.”
The comments came as Americans prepared to celebrate on Monday Memorial Day, a date set aside in the calendar to honor all Americans who lost their lives in all the wars the nation has fought throughout its history.
Obama said that on Memorial Day, he and First Lady Michelle Obama will join veterans and their families at Arlington National Cemetery to pay tribute to patriots of every generation.
He noted that he wanted to remind the veterans that they were not alone and give thanks to those who had made the ultimate sacrifice and helped make America the most prosperous and powerful nation on earth.
“We have to serve them and their families as well as they have served us,” Obama said. “By making sure that they get the healthcare and benefits they need; by caring for our wounded warriors and supporting our military families; and by giving veterans the chance to go to college, find a good job, and enjoy the freedom that they risked everything to protect.”