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Presidents' Memorial Day Remarks


"...that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God, ...and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth."

President Abraham Lincoln


"Until the world knows no aggressors, until the arms of tyranny have been laid down, until freedom has risen up in every land, we shall maintain our vigil to make sure our sons who died on foreign fields shall not have died in vain."

Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson


"Memorial Day is a time to take stock of the present, reflect on the past, and renew our commitment to the future of America.

Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free."

President Ronald Reagan


"For many, Memorial Day signals summer's arrival. Families will pull out the picnic baskets and charcoal grills and head for the beach or the park.

On this day, we must tell the stories of those who fought and died in freedom's cause. We must tell their stories because those who've lost loved ones need to know that a grateful Nation will always remember. We must tell their stories so that our children and grandchildren will understand what our lives might have been like had it not been for their sacrifice. ... So let us remember the cause for which these Americans fought and the freedom and peace bought with their life's blood, and let us pass along to a new generation the awesome accounts of honor and courage."

President George H. W. Bush


"We are descendants of a common creed — one nation under God. Partners with a common purpose; to keep our nation free and strong; a force for peace and progress; a place where people who work hard and take responsibility have the chance to make the most of their own lives, build good, strong families and live our their dreams in dignity and peace. May God bless the souls of our departed and always bless the country they gave everything to serve."

President Bill Clinton


"Although the burden of grief can become easier to bear, always there is the memory of another time, and the feeling of sadness over an unfinished life. Yet, the completeness of a life is not measured in length only. It is measured in the deeds and commitments that give a life its purpose. And the commitment of these lives was clear to all:

They defended our nation. They liberated the oppressed. They served the cause of peace. And all Americans who have known the loss and sadness of war, whether recently or long ago, can know this...The person they love and miss is honored and remembered by the United States of America."

President George W. Bush

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