morning, and thank you, Commander Loesch, for
that kind introduction. Thank you all for joining
We owe a special thanks to American Legion Post
56 for organizing and holding this annual Memorial
Day wreath laying ceremony. This is a special
day for all of us at the Bureau, and the efforts
of Post 56 make this a truly memorable event
It is fitting that we all come together here
in the Courtyard today for this Memorial Day
observance. I say this because the connection
between the Bureau and our armed forces has
always been strong.
We in the FBI are tremendously proud to have
so many veterans and reservists as part of our
family. We are proud of the sacrifices you have
made for our country when you have put on your
But this bond goes beyond the military service
of FBI employees. It exists in the call to serve
that is steeped in the culture of both the armed
forces and the Bureau.
We serve for the same reasons. We love our country.
We love that it stands for freedom, not tyranny;
liberty, not subjugation; justice, not injustice.
We also understand that the liberties we enjoy
in this country have not come to us easily,
and we are prepared to make sacrifices to maintain
them. Sometimes, that means making the ultimate
Two weeks ago, we memorialized the members of
the law enforcement community who gave their
lives in the line of duty at the Blue Mass at
St. Patrick = s Church in Washington. Today,
we memorialize those members of the FBI family
who gave their lives in the line of military
At the first Memorial Day commemoration in 1868,
James Garfield, who was a Civil War general
before he became President, addressed 5,000
participants at Arlington National Cemetery
with these words:
A I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety
of uttering words on this occasion. If silence
is ever golden, it must be here beside the graves
of 15,000 men whose lives were more significant
than speech and whose death was a poem the music
of which can never be sung. @
What was true then is true now -- words are
not adequate for what we remember today. We
come together on Memorial Day to honor those
who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of
their country. Roughly 42 million Americans
have served in the military in a time of war.
Approximately 1.2 million never came home.
And though our words can never match their deeds,
we cannot let this day pass in silence.
From Arlington National Cemetery to our smallest
towns, millions and millions of Americans will
gather for ceremonies and parades. We will honor
all who have fallen in battle to preserve our
way of life, and we will say proudly as a nation:
For 55 years, the entire FBI family, led by
Post 56, has remembered as well. Today we honor
the FBI employees and the members of the FBI
family killed in the line of military duty by
placing a wreath in the Courtyard.
This simple act delivers the deepest tribute.
There is a price for freedom, but this sacrifice
is not in vain. These men and women lived to
defend freedom and protect their fellow citizens.
By doing so, they have secured the blessings
of liberty for us. With this wreath, we do remember,
and thank them for all they have done.
I would like to thank all of you again for attending
this ceremony today and extend our gratitude
to Post 56 for organizing the wreath laying.
As we depart for our long Memorial Day weekend,
let us keep our current defenders, those serving
in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere throughout
the world, in our thoughts and prayers.
And let us never forget the individuals we honor
here today and all those who have laid down
their lives in defense of this country. Ours
is a debt that can never be repaid, but must
always be honored. We owe it to those individuals
and we owe it to this country to do so.