President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. This will mark the beginning of an official multi-year program which will honor those who served in arguably America's most controversial military campaign.
The president also used his weekly video address to the nation to honor the country's fallen heroes of every generation, stating, "on Memorial Day, we come together as Americans to let these families and veterans know that they are not alone. We give thanks for those who sacrificed everything so that we could be free."
"Even as we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice," the president added, "we reaffirm our commitment to care for those who served alongside them—the veterans who came home. This includes our newest generation of veterans, from Iraq and Afghanistan."
After attending the service honoring Gold Star member of the military and their families at Arlington, the president and first lady will join Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden at the Vietnam War Memorial off of the National Mall.
Tom Selleck will serve as Master of Ceremonies at the event which will also "include 2,500 Vietnam Veterans, their loved ones, current and former State officials who served at the Embassy, Gold Star families and leadership from the military services, Cabinet and Congress."
The president will give the keynote at the ceremony, hosted by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and Senator Chuck Hagel will also make remarks. Wreaths will be laid by Panetta, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
by RTT Staff Writer
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