Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, Americans live free, secure, and stable lives thanks to generations of men and women in uniform who were willing to sacrifice their own lives. We must never forget the tremendous debt we owe those brave Americans. It is in large part because of them that America serves as a beacon of hope, freedom, and equality to all the world.
This Monday, we will celebrate Memorial Day, a national day of solemn remembrance and gratitude as we honor the men and women who have died defending our Nation. We honor each and every American who has made the ultimate sacrifice on battlefields from Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill to Fort McHenry; from Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg to Belleau Wood and the Somme; from Pearl Harbor, Bastogne, and Iwo Jima to Inchon, Bloody Ridge, and the Chosin Reservoir; from Ia Drang, Khe Sanh, and Hamburger Hill to Umm Qasr, Nasiriyah, Fallujah, and Kabul. We salute the centuries-old legacy of selflessness and sacrifice that defines our Nation. We are forever indebted to our warfighters and their families. On Memorial Day, we pause to reflect, to remember, to pay respect, to give thanks. And we say a prayer for all the men and women currently serving in harm’s way and look forward to the day when they may return home safely to be with their families and friends.
Memorial Day is not only a day for looking backward. It is also a day for looking forward. Those men and women who lie buried gave their lives so that we could live in peace. Their dream, and the dream of every American serving in the field of battle, is that someday no more Americans will be called upon to give their lives for their country; that someday war will end and the world will be truly free. What better way, then, to honor their memory than to do everything we can to seek peace? On this day of remembrance, I hope that all Americans remember the dream of those who committed the greatest sacrifice, and pursue peace in all our endeavors. As President Lincoln put it so eloquently nearly 153 years, let us dedicate ourselves
“to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”.
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