Later in the evening we watched the National Memorial Day Concert from Washington DC. It's always so excellent and a good reminder to each of us that "Freedom Isn't Free." The closing remarks we given by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. The following are his words to America:
Nothing is more profoundly American than Memorial Day. Throughout our history, American sons and daughters have willingly laid down their lives to strengthen our nation and preserve its freedoms. Indeed, the greatest of this republic is founded in their selfless service. They rest quietly now beneath chalk white headstones, here at home or in battlefield graves where they fell, or in the depths of the oceans where they made the ultimate sacrifice.
This Memorial Day let us take the time to come together as a nation and not only pay tribute to those who have fallen, but to pay tribute to the idea that inspired them--to the idea that there is something greater than ones self--to the idea that is America. One mother of a fallen Marine told me she embraces this day. "Grief shared is grief more easily borne," she said. "There is comfort in the bonds that unite us with the past.
We can also find comfort in the bonds that make us Americans. Today, as we honor the sacrifice of these souls who fought and died for us, let us affirm their legacy by pressing on to secure the blessings of liberty for which they paid so dearly. Let us stand strong by the men and women that defend that idea, that America is bigger than any one of us, and let us stand strong by their families. We ask all Service Members and their families, here and at home, to please stand and accept our deepest gratitude for their service. On behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a grateful nation we say Thank You.