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NEWS | May 27, 2024

Nation's leaders honor fallen heroes

By David Vergun DOD News

To Gold Star family members and everyone mourning a fallen American hero today, please know that we bow our heads in sorrow along with you, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said.

Austin, President Joe Biden and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., provided remarks today at a Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery. 

"We know that you live with loss every day and not just Memorial Day," Austin continued. 

Defending our republic carries risk and that goes beyond the dangers of combat. By necessity, military training is hard and challenging. "Our operations worldwide can put our troops in harm's way," he said. 

Also, we lose too many of our veterans to suicide, he added.

Troops and their families don’t just sacrifice during wartime. Troops often go on long deployments. "They know the pride that never fades and the worry that never leaves," Austin said. 

Brown said we are here today to honor those who were wearing the uniform when they gave their lives for our nation and its ideals. 

He noted that Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of over 400,000 of the fallen.

"Every stone marker represents someone who wore the uniform who answered the call of duty, who when the nation asked, 'who will go for us?' They responded. 'Send me.'" Brown said.