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Memorial Day 2013: Lest we forget

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Sunday, May 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

On this Memorial Day, be grateful that Americans' willingness to sacrifice for freedom's sake, instilled by each generation in the next, remains as strong as ever.

Today, Americans honor those most worthy of such gratitude — those who gave their lives in our nation's service. Be proud and thankful that their spirit of sacrifice lives on undiminished among our men and women in uniform, all volunteers, serving and dying today in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Veterans' graves are emblems of that same spirit, whether they hold the remains of heroes who fell in Baghdad or Saigon, on Normandy Beach or in a western European trench. To those who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our liberty, all Americans owe the ultimate debt, one greater than we ever can repay fully.

We can, however, pay down that debt by ensuring that Memorial Day is about more than picnics, cookouts, ballgames and swimming pools. We must put first — ahead of enjoying summer fun — thanking veterans marching in parades, paying proper respect to the flag for which so many have died, caring for the graves of fallen heroes and praying for those lost.

Their duty is done. Ours is to honor them, especially today, on Memorial Day, knowing full well that our obligation to them is as eternal, sacred and unchanging as their sacrifice.

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