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Clinton's Memorial Day Statement

Hillary Clinton

Memorial Day is a solemn day for every American; a day to express our profound gratitude to the men and women who have given their lives in military service. A day to join in our thoughts and prayers with the families mourning loved ones. A day to cherish the freedoms and opportunities that so many have served, sacrificed, and died to defend.

On this Memorial Day, I'm reminded of the words of a poet and a veteran named Archibald MacLeish. He served in World War I and witnessed incredible service and sacrifice. Before the close of World War II, to commemorate those who had died, he wrote of the responsibility of all of us who survive them.

In his poem entitled "The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak," he reminds us that those we have lost: "have a silence that speaks for them at night...They say: We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done...They say: our deaths are not ours; they are yours; they will mean what you make them...They say: we leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning."

How do we give these lives their meaning? I believe we must honor our service members by doing our best to serve the men and women who have served us. And I believe we must honor the lives we've lost by honoring the values for which they fought. That is our duty. And on this Memorial Day, let us recommit ourselves to fulfilling this sacred responsibility every single day.

The United States has the finest military on the planet because we have the best soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen in the world. We owe them our support and resources while in-service and when they come home as our Veterans. We owe them a GI Bill of Rights that sees to their health care, housing, education and overall wellbeing. In many ways, everyday should be Memorial Day to honor and remember all they do for our nation, our communities and our families.

Our moral obligation is significant for the simple reason that the sacrifice of those who serve and have served in our military demonstrates a profound example of commitment and love for our nation. We must return to them all they have given and we must remember and honor those who gave their all, their lives, for our great nation.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, a U.S. Senator from New York, is a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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