REMARKS [AS PREPARED]: PERRY HIGH SCHOOL VETERANS MEMORIAL DEDICATION
Thank you very much for inviting me to join you.
When I think about all those who have served and died to defend the ideals on which our great Nation was founded -- the principles of liberty, freedom, justice, and opportunity -- I am reminded of something President John F. Kennedy once said. He said that ". . .a nation reveals itself not only by the men [and women] it produces, but also by the men [and women] it honors [and] remembers." On this Memorial Day, we honor and we remember the men from Perry High School who gave their last full measure of devotion to protect us and our families and to preserve all that we, as a country, hold so dear.
These men from Perry High School who perished all have something in common -- their time with us on this Earth was all too brief. Their youth is frozen in time. As Laurence Binyon wrote in a poem about the young soldiers who died during World War I:
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."
Indeed, we do remember them.
This memorial stands as a moving tribute and a lasting testament to these men and to their courage, honor, and sacrifice. While I did not meet any of these Perry High School graduates, I have, over time, met the families of the soldiers from Stark County whom we have lost in Iraq:
**Staff Sergeant Richard Ramey,
**First Lieutenant Aaron Seesan,
**Specialist Jesse Buryj, and
**Sergeant Michael Barkey.
Today, we remember them. We, of course, also remember Stark County native Private First Class Megan Adelman-Tenney, whom we lost in a training accident in January 2005.
In the struggle to protect our American ideals and to promote peace around the world, many men and women have given their lives. On behalf of all Americans and Ohioans, we honor our service men and women -- of years past and present -- for all they have done for us and for our families. They have stood tall in fights against tyranny, fascism, aggression, and now terrorism. We will always remember them. We will always be proud.