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 TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet 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 TrumpPro-Trump singer wears 'Impeached and Re-elected' dress to the Grammys The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump beefs up impeachment defense with Dershowitz, Starr Trump welcomes LSU to the White House: 'Go Tigers' 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 UnPentagon official: 'We don't fully know the reasons' North Korea didn't fire 'Christmas gift' Activity seen at North Korean missile research center: report South Korea and the billion mustache 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."