Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

President Barack Obama participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery Monday, May 25, 2009. White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson

President Obama honored America’s fallen service members at Arlington National Cemetery this morning and said that the men and women who choose to serve their country are the “best of America.”

The president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington and said the cemetery, which is the final resting place for soldiers dating back to the Revolutionary War, serves as a reminder of the “meaning of valor.”

“With each death, we are heartbroken; with each death, we grow more determined,” he said.

Obama sent a wreath to the African-American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C. He is the first president to send a wreath to this memorial that honors the 200,000 African-American soldiers who fought for the Union Army.

As a vet I believe that we are here because they stood up and where willing like others to gave their last measure.

The President returned from Camp David last night so that this morning he could have breakfast with Gold Star Families in the State Dining Room, participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and speak at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery:

Here lie Presidents and privates; Supreme Court justices and slaves; generals familiar to history, and unknown soldiers known only to God.

A few moments ago, I laid a wreath at their tomb to pay tribute to all who have given their lives for this country. As a nation, we have gathered here to repeat this ritual in moments of peace, when we pay our respects to the fallen and give thanks for their sacrifice. And we've gathered here in moments of war, when the somber notes of Taps echo through the trees, and fresh grief lingers in the air.

Today is one of those moments, where we pay tribute to those who forged our history, but hold closely the memory of those so recently lost. And even as we gather here this morning, all across America, people are pausing to remember, to mourn, and to pray.

Old soldiers are pulling themselves a little straighter to salute brothers lost a long time ago. Children are running their fingers over colorful ribbons that they know signify something of great consequence, even if they don't know exactly why. Mothers are re-reading final letters home and clutching photos of smiling sons or daughters, as youthful and vibrant as they always will be.

They, and we, are the legacies of an unbroken chain of proud men and women who served their country with honor; who waged war so that we might know peace; who braved hardship so that we might know opportunity; who paid the ultimate price so we might know freedom.

Those who rest in these fields fought in every American war. They overthrew an empire and gave birth to revolution. They strained to hold a young union together. They rolled back the creeping tide of tyranny, and stood post through a long twilight struggle. And they took on the terror and extremism that threatens our world's stability.

Their stories are the American story. More than seven generations of them are chronicled here at Arlington. They're etched into stone, recounted by family and friends, and silently observed by the mighty oaks that have stood over burial after burial.

Africa Day 2009

This May 25th is Africa Day, the official day of the African Union. It is an opportunity to celebrate African diversity and success, and join Africans around the world in highlighting the cultural, social and entrepreneurial energy of the continent and that of those of the African diaspora.

This year we will create a financial instruments to invest in the following African ventures:

  1. Provide Architectural Design and Environmental along with Professional Engineering, Construction Management and General Contracting Services
  2. Planned Unit Development centered around a building on such sites a full service Teaching Hospital and Orphanage supporting a K-12 School that specializes in AIDS orphans.
  3. Water Works Construction
  4. Waste Water Plant Development
  5. Clean Burn Waste Disposal Solutions
  6. Electrical Power Generation Plant Development
  7. Electrical Distribution Networks
  8. Next Generation Broadband Communications Solutions
  9. Creating a in country next generation Internet service and cloud computing solution
  10. Safety Support for the above work and other Humanitarian Aid