"But we...shall be remembered;
We few...we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother."
-- William Shakespeare, Henry V
Held today in our nation's capital, on the Washington Monument grounds at the Mall. I was privileged to be there among several thousand other veterans, visitors, dignitaries, and the families of our fallen heroes.
Notable attendees included Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, various members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, new NBC correspondent Luke Russert (Tim's son), and Ross Perot, who gave the keynote address.
The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Gold Medals of Remembrance to children who have lost a parent during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Other items of note included recognition of the sacrifices from other American wars, recognition of descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the administration of the Oath of Citizenship to newly naturalized citizens serving in the Armed Forces, the stellar performance by the US Air Force Band and the Singing Sergeants, and the ringing of the Spirit of the Liberty Bell by wounded US armed forces veterans.
Of special note was the of the US Colors present today, and their own journey of rembrance.
These colors were first raised at the US Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 2007. The flag has traveled throught America, to US CENTCOM ops in Afghanistan, Iraq,and several other areas, including American Embassies in Kabul and Baghdad, and on numerous combat missions.
The flag has provided inspiration and comfort in all the places it visited, and in the words of a young Army Specialist, "An awareness that remembering those who have fallen is more than just the right thing to do, it is everyone's responsibility."
Indeed, even for those who place little or no value in honoring those who gave all, as well as those who continue in military service to our nation and our people.