Anchorage: Korean War Veterans Association Memorial Day Ceremony

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Hello. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your fitting tribute to the most deserving of our nation's heroes. It's great to be home in Alaska, and it is a privilege to spend Memorial Day at the Veterans' Memorial Flag Pole with all of you.

It's appropriate that on Memorial Day we should set aside our differences and come together as Americans - a unified nation with one common voice. Let us celebrate that we are a free nation, a proud nation, a nation guided by principles and universal truths. And though we may disagree on many things, we do so peacefully and lawfully from town hall meetings to the floor of the Senate. Even in tough times such as these we remain a beacon of light around the world for those who can only imagine a life of freedom as they struggle to survive under the grip of tyranny and oppression. Today we remember the men and women who kept that beacon lit and reflect on the gravity of their sacrifice.

Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the tremendous sacrifice of those called to serve in our nation's military forces who can no longer enjoy the freedoms they gave their lives to preserve. It is also fitting for us to remember with compassion the families, friends, and fellow soldiers left behind. We remain a free nation because of their sacrifice, and we must never forget that even in American freedom is never free.

So I urge everyone here today to take some time over this holiday weekend to reflect on what is truly important to you and your families and pause in memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to enable our pursuit of happiness. Memorial Day is one of America's most important holidays, and it is an honor to share its observance with you here this afternoon. Thanks to all the service members past and present gathered here today for your service, and thanks for allowing me to be a part of your ceremony.

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