"As the United States Secretary of Defense, and the son of Italian immigrants, it is an honor for me to visit Brazil's memorial to its heroes of World War II, who fought side by side with the United States military and other allies in the Italian peninsula campaign.
"The considerable sacrifice of members of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force not only helped liberate Italy, it helped establish peace and security for Europe and the world over.
"Today we remember and honor those Brazilians and U.S. service members whose common purpose, sacrifice, and commitment to the mission defeated Nazi tyranny.
"In that fight against the Nazis, the United States and Brazil came to know each other as friends and partners. It is my hope that today, the U.S. and Brazil, as two world powers, will work even more closely together in support of peace and security in our shared hemisphere and across the globe."