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Washington Navy Yard Memorial Service

As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mr. President, Mrs. Obama.  On behalf of the more than 3 million men and women of the Department of Defense serving across the nation and all over the world, I want to express our deepest sympathy to the families here today.  Know that our thoughts and our prayers are with all of you.

Today, we come together at this historic post to begin a long road of healing and recovery.  It is a path we walk together.

We walk with the families, all who loved the fallen, to help ease the pain, hoping that grief and sadness will one day ebb, and cherished memories of those we loved so much will take their place.

We walk with those injured and scarred by this senseless act of violence, to help them regain their strength, hoping the horrors of last Monday will soon recede.

And together, we will recover.

We will remember the first responders – we will remember all, the first responders who ran toward the sounds of gunfire – including Officer Scott Williams, injured in the line of duty.

We will remember the valor of the Navy Yard personnel, all the people in the building 197.

And we will remember that in the face of tragedy, the United States Navy is once again responding with resolve.

As we remember the fallen, we also note the [timeless] resilience of the institution that the victims were part of, that they so proudly supported, and the nation they so humbly served. 

God bless the families and the friends of those who we remember today, and God bless our country.

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