United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

“We remember all who have borne the battle, whose devotion to duty has sustained our country and kept safe our heritage as a free people in a free society. Though our hearts ache in their absence, we find comfort in knowing that their legacy lives on in all of us -- in the security that lets us live in peace, the prosperity that allows us to pursue our dreams...”

President Barack Obama
Presidential Proclamation: Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day

Memorial Day 2012

Published May 28, 2012

Top Stories

Americans Must Help Shoulder Wars' Burden, Obama Says

With U.S. troops no longer fighting in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan beginning to wind down, binding the wounds of war is the priority for our nation, President Barack Obama said during the Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery. Story

Panetta Urges Nation to Remember
Fallen Troops on Memorial Day

In his Memorial Day message, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta urges Americans to remember and honor the sacrifice of U.S. service members who died in the nation’s wars and to reaffirm their commitment to families of the fallen for their sacrifices. Story

President Praises Vietnam Veterans at War's Anniversary

President Barack Obama called the treatment Vietnam War veterans received after they returned home “a national shame” and asked that Americans use the 50th anniversary of the war to set the record straight. Story

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Memorial Day Messages

Leon E. Panetta

“For many Americans, Memorial Day is a welcome break from work, a time for outdoor barbeques or a day at the beach, but today is, above all, an opportunity for Americans to come together and pay tribute to all those who have fought and died in defense of our freedom.” Message | Biography

Martin E. Dempsey

I would ask people to take a solemn moment at some point during the day to remember exactly what we are celebrating and that is we’re celebrating our freedom. The freedom that was purchased by more than two million men and women throughout the course of our history and, of course, more than 64-hundred or so in the past 10 years alone. Story | Biography

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