Prayer for Peace, US Memorial Day, 2008

Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2008

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

On Memorial Day, we honor the heroes who have laid down their lives in the cause of freedom, resolve that they will forever be remembered by a grateful Nation, and pray that our country may always prove worthy of the sacrifices they have made.

Throughout our Nation's history, our course has been secured by brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen. These courageous and selfless warriors have stepped forward to protect the Nation they love, fight for America's highest ideals, and show millions that a future of liberty is possible. Freedoms come at great costs, yet the world has been transformed in unimaginable ways because of the noble service and devotion to duty of these brave individuals. Our country honors the sacrifice made by those who have given their lives to spread the blessings of liberty and lay the foundations of peace, and we mourn their loss.

Today, our service men and women continue to inspire and strengthen our Nation, going above and beyond the call of duty as part of the greatest military the world has ever known. Americans are grateful to all those who have put on our Nation's uniform and to their families, and we will always remember their service and sacrifice for our freedoms.

On this solemn day our country unites to pay tribute to the fallen, who demonstrated the strength of their convictions and paid the cost of freedom. We pray for the members of our Armed Forces and their families, and we ask for God's continued guidance of our country.

In respect for their devotion to America, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on May 11, 1950, as amended (64 Stat. 158), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated the minute beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 26, 2008, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day. I encourage the media to participate in these observances. I also request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States, and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.




National Cemetery, Seoul, Korea

The day is abundant in meaning, a venue and an opportunity to honor the sacrifices of the United States servicemen during the Korean War.

We take this moment to pay tribute to their divine deeds in protecting the banners of peace, freedom, and democrat.

The sacrifice is now a cornerstone of peace and freedom basking all corners of our globe.

Through US soldiers' dedicated sacrifices the Republic of Korea was able to prosper to new economic heights whilst ushering democracy.

Koreans will remember all 33,000 champions of the Korean War, for their fight in peace and freedom's cause left us an indelible imprint.

On behalf of all Korean people, I would like to sincerely thank USFK* service members for your effort in ensuring security of the peninsula even at this current moment.

Since the formation of our government in 1948 the ROK-USA alliance has progressed infinitely through thick and thin of history. Now the Alliance is more mature and steadfast.

The blood-forged brothers of ROK and US military boast world's greatest combined defense, bar none. It bolstered not only the relationship between the two nations but also peace and stability in Northeast Asia as well as in the peninsula.

Now the time calls for a mightier Alliance that best suits the Twenty-first Century.

In April's summit, President Bush and I pledged for a strategic alliance that seeks to enlarge common interests on the basis of universal values, strong trust, and strive for peace.

To strive for peace in Northeast Asia and to allay tensions in the peninsula, ROK-US Military Alliance built on trust is an absolute must.

That is the way forward for the peninsula and world peace, also a way to repay the debt of gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives.

I offer my most devout prayers to those who remain in our hearts, and may God's blessings shine on every USFK soldier and their families.

President Lee Myung-bak

*USFK-US Forces Korea, the command name for all US military personnel assigned to Korea since 1970’s, including 8th US Army.
The cause of peace might be better served if the guy went about his job not starting wars of choice without any vital national interest at stake and with no workable definition of, nor strategy for, victory- rather than just praying to an invisible Sky Daddy.

4393 coalition servicemen dead in Iraq. 29,978 US wounded. Untold Iraqi casualties - and no end in sight. If God does exist, I rather think this inept simpleton will have some serious explaining to do, to be promptly followed by a precipitous drop into somewhere thoroughly unpleasant where hopefully Jeffrey Dahmer will be waiting for him with a 15" black rubber c0ck and a bread knife.

Just a thought.
Special Forces honors fallen on Memorial Day

By Spc. Anthony Hawkins Jr.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, May 26, 2008) – The U.S. Army Special Forces Command, together with the Special Forces Association, honored the memories of fallen comrades by holding the 40th Annual Special Forces Memorial Day Ceremony here today.

The ceremony was a time for members of the Special Forces Regiment to remember their fallen brethren, retired and active duty, past and present.

Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Csrnko, USASFC(A) commanding general, hosted the event, which was held on Meadows Field.

“I am honored to be with you today, on a day so rich,” Csrnko said. “With me, our nation’s flag flies at half-staff to express our profound gratitude for the acts of brave patriots, who gave the full measure, so that we might live free to place flowers on their graves and speak words of eulogy.”

It was those actions on which Memorial Day was original founded.

In 1867, a group of Confederate women visited a cemetery in Columbus, Miss., to decorate the graves of those sons and fathers who died serving the Confederacy. What the women also found in the cemetery were the unkempt and forgotten graves of many Union Soldiers. The women could not bring themselves to ignore the graves, so they carefully decorated them, until there was nothing which could distinguish them from the graves of the Confederate Soldiers.

A reporter from the New York Tribune witnessed the acts and soon the story spread across the country. It inspired Gen. John Logan, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union’s veteran organization, to designate May 30, 1868 be a day to decorate the graves of fallen Soldiers. Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was formally established in 1882 as a day of remembrance for those who have died in national service.

However, many Americans today do not fully understand the meaning of Memorial Day, Csrnko said.

“This is a sacred day for all war veterans,” said retired Sgt. Maj. Gary Betterton, national president of the Special Forces Association. “None of us have to be reminded why we celebrate this day. What about the general public, and more important, future generations? The day has simply become another day off from work. Perhaps another reminder is due.”
This reminder and the act of relaying the message of sacrifice is the duty of every veteran, Betterton said.

“Far too often the nation as a whole takes for granted the freedoms all Americans enjoy,” he said. “This is a national debt that can only repaid by honoring the nation’s dead.”

Without remembrance, future generations of Americans may not know their heritage and history.

“We would do well to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln, who said, ‘Any nation who does not honor its heroes will not long endure,’” Csrnko said. “Well, we do remember. We remember that Soldiers serve, and some die, to preserve our bedrock freedoms. Among them are the freedom of association, of speech, participation in governance, the freedom of worship and the freedom to pursue happiness.”

Remembering the sacrifices of those lost in battle and speaking kind words of them are important, but Csrnko wonders if that is enough.

“In our hearts we know we can’t fully discharge our solemn obligation to these men and women with mere words or gestures,” he said. “They did not die for words or wreathes alone. They died so that in freedom, our nation might endure. It is therefore fitting this Memorial Day that we return our thoughts to the renewal of our own dedication to the cause of freedom. It is a personal matter for us to renew our commitment, our involvement in a freedom that our dead have purchased at such a dear price.”

More than 83 Special Forces Soldiers have lost their lives since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. Many more have been injured, and thousands are continually serving in harm’s way every day.

“Right now as I speak to you, young heroes are risking their lives somewhere out there,” Csrnko said. “They do this for us. They do this for their country. They do this, because like millions before them, they accepted the defense of freedom in a very personal matter not to be left solely to others. They were stirred from within by a desire to make a difference, and in doing so they became the strength of our nation.”

Memorial Day is not only a day for remembering those heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, but also for remembering those who endure the hardships of war far from home, he said.

“So let us pay tribute today to those heroes who gave their full and final measure,” he said. “Let us make a personal commitment to do two things before the arrival of summer. Visit the gravesites of our fallen Soldiers and give thanks. Also, let us reach over and shake the hand of a living hero, whether it is someone in uniform waiting in line at the grocery checkout, or a veteran standing on a parade route saluting Old Glory as she passes by. Tell them you understand the depths of their commitment. Tell them you honor their service. Tell them simply, thanks. In this way we will continually renew the spirit of involvement reflected in the kind and good acts of those southern ladies in 1867.”

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