On the last Monday in May, Americans celebrate Memorial Day to remember the men and women of the armed forces and give thanks for their sacrifices.
Originally known as Decoration Day, the holiday dates back to the 1860s, when it was a day of remembrance for those who died during the Civil War. By the 20th century, it had become a general day of commemoration for fallen veterans of all American wars.
As Memorial Day is celebrated across the nation this weekend, many political leaders have taken a moment to honor those who have given their lives in service to their country.
Below, a look at some of their statements:
"This weekend, folks across the country are opening up the pool, firing up the grill, and taking a well-earned moment to relax. But Memorial Day is more than a three-day weekend. In town squares and national cemeteries, in public services and moments of quiet reflection, we will honor those who loved their country enough to sacrifice their own lives for it.
"Even as we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, 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.
"But 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. And we commit ourselves to upholding the ideals for which so many patriots have fought and died."
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