Appropriate remarks from former Presidents in regard to men who gave the last full measure of devotion to this country-
Lincoln- The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract...The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
Wilson- They do not need our praise. They do not need that our admiration should sustain them. There is no immortality that is safer than theirs. We come not for their sakes but for our own, in order that we may drink at the same springs of inspiration from which they themselves selves drank.
Hoover- It was the transcendent fortitude and steadfastness of these men who in adversity and in suffering through the darkest hour of our history held faithful to an ideal. Here men endured that a nation might live. An ideal is an unselfish aspiration. Its purpose is the general welfare not only of this but of future generations.
George W. Bush- Looking across this field, we see the scale of heroism and sacrifice. All who are buried here understood their duty. All stood to protect America. And all carried with them memories of a family that they hoped to keep safe by their sacrifice.
Obama- They, and we, are the legacies of an unbroken chain of proud men and women who served their country with honor, who waged war so that we might know peace, who braved hardship so that we might know opportunity, who paid the ultimate price so that we might know freedom.
The current occupant of the White House has different views of service:
“I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”
“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.”
“I like people who weren’t captured.”
“That guy is smart. Why did he join the military?”