On Monday, President Obama marked his last memorial day as Commander-in-Chief by giving a powerful speech at Arlington National Cemetery and placing a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier to honor those who have died in wars throughout our nation’s history.
The president challenged us to honor those who have given their lives fighting for our country “not just with words but with our actions.”
For us, the living — those of us who still have a voice — it is our responsibility, our obligation, to fill that silence with our love and our support and our gratitude — and not just with our words, but with our actions,” said Obama. “For truly remembering, and truly honoring these fallen Americans means being there for their parents, and their spouses, and their children…
The ceremony is one Obama has now participated in eight times as President of the United States, and as he ended his speech today he left us with a solemn and profound thought:
A nation reveals itself not only by the people it produces, but by those it remembers. We do so not just by hoisting a flag, but by lifting up our neighbors. Not just by pausing in silence, but by practicing in our own lives the ideals of opportunity and liberty and equality that they fought for.”
Watch Obama place the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the last time before he leaves office.
Featured image via Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images