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Obama Honors the Military in Radio Address

By Scott Wilson
President Obama used his weekly radio address today to urge Americans to find ways of thanking soldiers serving overseas and veterans who have returned home. He also highlighted the ways that his administration is trying to do the same.

On the eve of Memorial Day, Obama said, "Our fighting men and women -- and the military families who love them -- embody what is best in America."

"We have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us," he said. "And yet all too often in recent years and decades, we, as a nation, have failed to live up to that responsibility. We have failed to give them the support they need or pay them the respect they deserve."

Obama spoke Friday at the commencement ceremonies of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he told the graduating class that "I have no greater honor than serving as your commander in chief."

He also used that opportunity to reiterate the message he delivered at the National Archives a day earlier, in a speech explaining his plan to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and to outlaw the harsh interrogation methods sanctioned by the Bush administration. Obama told the graduates that "when America strays from our values it not only undermines the rule of law, it alienates us from our allies, it energizes our adversaries, and it endangers our national security and the lives of our troops."

In his radio address, Obama said his administration is "building a 21st-century Department of Veterans Affairs" that will extend health care to the half-million additional veterans who fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and provide them with expanded benefits. He said his budget includes the "largest single-year funding increase in three decades" for the department.

But, he said, "we must also do our part, not only as a nation, but as individuals for those Americans who are bearing the burden of wars being fought on our behalf." He encouraged people to write letters to troops, volunteer at health clinics where wounded soldiers are being treated, or to do "something as simple as saying 'thank you' to a veteran you pass on the street."

Obama recalled U.S. military history from the Revolutionary War through the Allied landing at Normandy, where he will travel next month to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day.

"It's about remembering each and every one of those moments when our survival as a nation came down not simply to the wisdom of our leaders or the resilience of our people, but to the courage and valor of our fighting men and women," Obama said. "For it is only by remembering these moments that we can truly appreciate a simple lesson of American life -- that what makes all we are and all we aspire to be possible are the sacrifices of an unbroken line of Americans that stretches back to our nation's founding."

By Post Editor  |  May 23, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

re: veteran healthcare.

Um, no. Firstly, Obama never said that, and secondly, the veterans healthcare/private insurance proposal was dropped back in March. (Dropped as of 19 March, to be exact.)

On a more important note: thanks to all service members. Stay safe.

Posted by: owl1 | May 26, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm so glad that "The One" is willing to give LIP SERVICE to the same military that he wants to pay for their own healthcare because as he said "they knew what they were getting into when they volunteered"!

So how do you like the CHANGE so far?

Posted by: TexRancher | May 25, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

In Memory:

My grandpa Carmelo who although an Italian citizen, joined the U. S. Army and went to France with Blackjack Pershing. He was wounded in 1918, was awarded the Purple Heart and his citizenshp 4 years later.

Uncles Tony and Pete both of whom were at Guadelcanal, one on land and one at sea. Neither knew the other was there at the time.

Cousin Joey, who sponsored me at my Confirmation, and shelled the North Koreans from the turrets of the battle ship New Jersey.

They are all gone.

My brother Al and I both served during Vietnam. Our daughters were all grown up before they knew that once we were soldiers.

Posted by: toritto | May 24, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I am listening to Charles Ives "Concord, Mass" along with Simon & Garfunkel's "America" this Memorial Day weekend.

Certainly, a remembrance of those who gave their lives so that we can remain free (and did so selflessly, without expectation of reward or glory).

THEY are the ones who helped make, and keep, this nation strong.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | May 24, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

More self justification from the arrogant incompetent community organizer and not a "Thank you" for those who are serving.
What an embarrassing joke this leftist slug is to anyone who has served our nation.

For all who have selflessly served in our nation's military, "Thanks to you we remain free. God bless you."

Posted by: LarryG62 | May 24, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

AND THEN IT ENDED LIKE THIS???

President Weekly Address President Obama calls on Americans to praise the men and women who have served in the U.S. military and 'to pay tribute to our fallen heroes.watch video


And the GOP Weekly Address: is like this "THIS WEEKEND WE PAY TRIBUTE TO THIER CODE" A WHOLE 25 SECONDS AND NOT EVEN A THANK YOU WAS IN THAT 25 seconds, NO BLESSING FOR THE TROOPS AND FAMILIES in the 25 sec, NO BLESSING FOR USA in that 25 sec. WHAT IS GOING ON OVER AT THE GOP THAT YOU FORGET THE TROOPS ON Memorial Day Weekend To Make A Politico Point About Health Care

THANK YOU ALL TROOPS EVERYWHERE, EVERYWHERE, THANK YOU TO EVERY FAMILY MEMBER AND FRIEND OF EVERY TROOP EVERY WHERE FOR YOUR SACRIFICE AND TRUE LOVE OF COUNTRY I LOVE EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU DEEPLY

Posted by: sweetp_b307 | May 24, 2009 5:57 AM | Report abuse

why is cheney making noise about anything? hey prez, if you want to shut the right up, talk about african american issues and elimintaing the american ghettos. see what the right has to say about that. i'm guessing you will have plenty of quiet then. ps notice i said african americans and not darfur. ps 2 you probably wont get much traction from white liberals on that issue either bc they support the idea of a black ghetto in their heart of hearts. 'well where else will we score drugs from????' typical.

Posted by: ol_dj | May 24, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

toritto-
Thanks.

Posted by: rooster54 | May 23, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

In memory of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Normandy June 6, 1944.

Citation: for gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt's written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France .

General Roosevelt was old enough that no one expected him to hit the beach on D-Day. He insisted that he accompany his troops and led the first wave. He carried a cane due to his arthritic knees.

Roosevelt would be the only general on D-Day to land with the first wave of troops. He was the first soldier off his landing craft as he led the U.S. 4th Infantry Division's 8th Infantry Regiment and 70th Tank Battalion landing at Utah Beach.

At the same time, his son Quentin Roosevelt II was landing with the First Division on Omaha Beach

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. died in France on July 12, 1944

He is buried in France with his men at the American Cemetary at Normandy, next to his brother Quentin Roosevelt who died in air combat in the Great War.

Think about them this weekend.

Posted by: toritto | May 23, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

People with integrity are admitting they are having buyers remorse for voting for Obama. He is a disaster without a telepromter and his total lack of experience is rising to the surface. The damage Pelosi, Reid, and Obama have done in the past 4 months will take 20 years to fix.

Posted by: Djookers | May 23, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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