Americans are honoring the nation's military war dead on this
Memorial Day holiday in the United States. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports President
Bush led observances at Arlington National Cemetery.
This is the day when America remembers those who died in service to their
country. And nowhere is the extent of their sacrifice more on display than in
Arlington National Cemetery - where seven generations of the fallen are buried.
"Today, we honor the warriors who fought our nation's enemies, defended the
cause of liberty and gave their lives in the cause of freedom," he said.
President Bush spoke in the cemetery's amphitheater - a massive white
structure surrounded by seemingly endless rows of small white headstones.
Many of the nation's greatest military heroes are buried in Arlington. But so
too are hundreds of thousands of men and women whose names are known only to the
families and communities that mourn them.
They include several hundred soldiers killed since the September 11 attacks
on the United States in places like Kabul and Kandahar, Baghdad and Ramadi. The
soil is still fresh on those graves, many covered with personal messages,
flowers and flags.
"Like those who came before them, they did not want war, but they answered
the call when it came," Mr. Bush said. "They believed in something larger than
themselves. They fought for our country, and our country unites to mourn them as
The president said their sacrifice must not be in vain, and the cause of
protecting freedom will never end.
"From their deaths must come a world
where the cruel dreams of tyrants and terrorists are frustrated and foiled,
where our nation is more secure from attack and where the gift of liberty is
secured for millions who have never known it," the president said.
Earlier, the president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, which
contains the unidentified remains of members of the U.S. military killed in
major conflicts. He was accompanied by several families of the