Memorial Day Messagefrom Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
While every Memorial Day is marked with solemn remembrance, in2015 we take special note. This year — as we mark the 150th anniversary of theend of the Civil War, the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the 65thanniversary of the start of the Korean War, the 40th anniversary of ourdeparture from Vietnam, and the 25th anniversary of Operation Desert Shield inthe lead-up to the Gulf War — we honor and remember those who perished inthose wars, just as we recall the more than 6,800 American service members whogave their lives since Sept. 11, 2001.
To the families of our fallen patriots: we lack the words todescribe what you feel on Memorial Day, because try as we may — as we must –we can never fully know it. But we do know what your sacrifice means to us, toour country, and to a world that still depends so much on America for itssecurity.
As our nation remembers the service and sacrifice of previousgenerations, we as a people recognize that the men and women serving in uniformtoday — active-duty, guard, and reserve — are as humble, patriotic, andselfless as any generation that has come before. They, alongside theirfamilies, continue that tradition of service to country that makes our militarythe finest fighting force the world has ever known. Nearly 200,000 of thesesoldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are currently serving beyond our shores,protecting us far from home, and will not be able to spend this holiday withtheir loved ones. Today, and every day, we honor them and their families withour heartfelt thanks and support.