Tribute to the Troops (May 2010)

Take time to honor the living, as well

Each Memorial Day, American flags around the world are lowered to half-staff.  It’s a quiet gesture that reminds us of those former defenders who are no longer with us.

Our sacred obligation to the troops

For most Americans, the wars our Nation is fighting comes into their lives perhaps a few times a day when they read a headline in the newspaper or watch a report on the evening news.  But for the families of our service members war is part of every moment of their lives as they pray for loved ones deployed and care for family members here at home.  

Tribute to the American soldier

I recently returned from my eighth visit to see our Soldiers deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The men and women of our Army are performing magnificently, accomplishing our national objectives and making a difference in the lives of so many.  The personal sacrifice of our Soldiers and their Families to preserve our way of life and build a better future for others says much about the Army’s strength – a 235-year history of strength rooted in our values, our ethos, and our people.

Never forget Coast Guard heroes

Memorial Day provides us the opportunity to reflect upon and honor the service of our shipmates who gave the ultimate sacrifice – to ensure that we do not forget those brave men and women who have gone before us in the glory of a duty well performed.

May their memory never fade

Inspired by a common desire for freedom, but forged through a revolution by the exceptional few who answered the call to arms, our Nation has rightly honored those who have donned its cloth and given their lives in its defense.

How dare I

I found myself at Fort Riley, Kansas, sitting in a huge aircraft hangar that had been taken over for the evening.  About three-quarters of the building had been reserved for an audience for the evening concert with a large stage facing the open area.  The remaining section behind the stage had been set up for a ceremony ... a Ceremony of Remembrance.