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On the 40th anniversary of D-Day, President Ronald Reagan stood on the cliffs of Normandy and asked the veterans of Pointe du Hoc the question, “Why?” Why did they take those cliffs? Why did they ignore their “instinct for self-preservation”?
This Memorial Day weekend, Americans honor and remember those who have given their lives in service to protect our exceptional nation. As we pay tribute to the brave men and women who have died for our freedom, we also honor those defending our liberties around the world today.
In this century alone — from the world wars to Korea, and from Vietnam to the First Gulf War, Bosnia, and today’s Global War on Terror — millions of Americans have signed up to protect this nation, and hundreds of thousands have fallen in her name. And yet, it is always one life that resonates with us on Memorial Day. One story that everyone in one town somewhere in America knows. One man or woman we honor and remember, because he or she made the ultimate sacrifice.