Obama: Remember our responsibilities to our veterans this weekend

President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaStephen Sondheim, legendary Broadway songwriter, dies at 91 With extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE asked Americans to honor with more than just words this Memorial Day weekend those who died fighting for the United States.

"We are called to honor them by doing our part for the loved ones our fallen heroes have left behind and looking after our military families," Obama said in his weekly address Saturday. "By making sure the men and women serving this country around the world have the support they need to achieve their missions and come home safely. By making sure veterans have the care and assistance they need. In short, by serving all those who have ever worn the uniform of this country — and their families — as well as they have served us."


The president praised "the steadfast commitment to serve, to fight and, if necessary, to die" of those who had died in conflicts throughout the country's history, including ongoing ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It’s a commitment witnessed at each defining moment along the journey of this country," Obama said. "It’s what led a rag-tag militia to face British soldiers at Lexington and Concord. It’s what led young men, in a country divided half slave and half free, to take up arms to save our union. It’s what led patriots in each generation to sacrifice their own lives to secure the life of our nation, from the trenches of World War I to the battles of World War II, from Inchon and Khe Sanh, from Mosul to Marjah."

Obama will lay a wreath to commemorate fallen members of the military on Memorial Day at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill. Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE will be at the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, which presidents have often attended.

Obama noted in his address that the idea for the holiday came from Civil War veterans, who chose a date in spring when flowers had already bloomed.

"So this weekend, as we commemorate Memorial Day, I ask you to hold all our fallen heroes in your hearts and, if you can, to lay a flower where they have come to rest," Obama said.