One thing we can do is remember these heroes as you remember them—not just as a rank, or a number, or a name on a headstone, but as Americans, often far too young, who were guided by a deep and abiding love for their families, for each other, and for this country.President Obama at Arlington Cemetery today
We can remember Jay Aubin, the pilot, who met his wife on an aircraft carrier, and told his mother before shipping out, ‘If anything happens to me, just know I’m doing what I love.’
We can remember Ryan Beaupre, the former track star, running the leadoff leg, always the first one into action, who quit his job as an accountant and joined the Marines because he wanted to do something more meaningful with his life.
We can remember Brian Kennedy, the rock climber and lacrosse fanatic, who told his father two days before his helicopter went down that the Marines he served alongside were some of the best men he’d ever dealt with, and they’d be his friends forever.
We can remember Kendall Waters-Bey, a proud father, a proud son of Baltimore, who was described by a fellow servicemember as ‘a light in a very dark world.’
And we can remember David Hickman, a freshman in high school when the war began, a fitness fanatic who half-jokingly called himself ‘Zeus,’ a loyal friend with an infectious laugh.
We can remember them. And we can meet our obligations to those who did come home, and their families, who are in the midst of a different but very real battle of their own.