Pence honors fallen US service members at Arlington National Cemetery

Pence honors fallen US service members at Arlington National Cemetery
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Vice President Pence on Monday honored fallen U.S. service members during a Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Today is the day when all across America, we pause to honor those who served our nation but did not come home,” Pence said. “It is Memorial Day in America.”

"This is the day that makes possible all other American days. Without it and without the sacrifice we honor at patriots’ graves from the four corners of our land and overseas, there would be no other American days,” he said.

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Pence also addressed the absence of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE, who is in Japan, noting that the president offered his deepest respect and gratitude.

“While his duties have taken him to the other side of the world,” Pence said, “I know his heart is here with all of you, with families across this nation for whom every day is Memorial Day.”

Pence also noted that the president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMelania Trump to ring stock exchange opening bell on Monday On The Money: Fed delivers second rate cut to fend off global risks | Trump says Fed has 'no guts' | House gets deal on continuing resolution | GM faces bipartisan backlash amid strike Washington Monument reopens after three years of repairs MORE visited the cemetery last Thursday before leaving for Japan. 

Pence spoke of Trump's efforts to have fallen soldiers returned from North Korea and promise to never stop searching for soldiers who remain missing. 

“As he began negotiations for the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, President Donald Trump also secured a promise of the return of the remains of all fallen U.S. service members lost in North Korea,” he said, referring to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnKim invited Trump to visit North Korea amid stalled nuclear talks: report Trump to have dinner with Otto Warmbier's parents: report Ted Lieu congratulates first Asian American cast member on 'Saturday Night Live' MORE last year. 

"For this son of a combat veteran of the Korean War, I will never be given a higher honor than to be present when our boys were finally coming home," Pence added, referring to his own presence at the return of the remains of 55 presumed troops killed in the Korean war. 

He ended his speech on a note of gratitude and remembrance. 

“Let every American renew our commitment to do our duty to never fail, never fail to remember what they’ve done for us,” he said. 

Before his speech, Pence laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

Pence's address comes days after Trump announced that the U.S. would be sending 1,500 troops to the Middle East to counter Iran's influence in the region.

The vice president also recently delivered a commencement speech at the U.S. Military Academy during which he told graduates, "It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life."