ARLINGTON, Va. — President Bush paid tribute Monday to America's fighting men and women who died in battle, saying national leaders must have "the courage and character to follow their lead" in preserving peace and freedom.
"On this Memorial Day, I stand before you as the commander in chief and try to tell you how proud I am," Bush told an audience of military figures, veterans and their families at Arlington National Cemetery. Of the men and women buried in the hallowed cemetery, he said, "They're an awesome bunch of people and the United States is blessed to have such citizens."
"From faraway lands, they were returned to cemeteries like this one where broken hearts received their broken bodies," Bush said. "They found peace beneath the white headstones in the land they fought to defend. It is a solemn reminder of the cost of freedom that the number of headstones in a place such as this grows with every new Memorial Day."
He eulogized all U.S. troops who have died in service to the nation, but particularly those who lost their lives this past year.
"I am humbled by those who have made the ultimate sacrifice that allow a free civilization to endure and flourish," Bush said. "It only remains for us, the heirs of their legacy, to have the courage and the character to follow their lead and to preserve America as the greatest nation on Earth and the last, best hope for mankind."
Hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day and remembers the reason behind the holiday... the Rolling Thunder definitely didn't forget!