President Obama hugs a relative of a family member buried at section 60 in Arlington Cemetery, where many members of the military killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried


“Last fall, I received a letter from Candie Averette, of Charlotte, North Carolina. Both of her sons are Marines. Her oldest served two tours in Iraq.  Her youngest was in Afghanistan at the time. He was, in her words, “100 percent devoted to his deployment and wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Reading Candie’s letter, it was clear she was extraordinarily proud of the life her boys had chosen. But she also had a request on behalf of all the mothers just like her. She said, “Please don’t forget about my child and every other Marine and soldier over there who proudly choose to defend their country.”

A mother’s plea – please don’t forget. On this Memorial Day, and every day, let us be true and meet that promise….”.


President Obama and Major Gen. Michael S. Linnington stand before a wreath ceremony on Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery




Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me;
“Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

(Thank you Yardarm)




First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at the amphitheater during Memorial Day commemorations at Arlington National Cemetery


…. with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel


Text of the President’s remarks here


President Obama meets grieving families in Section 60

142 Responses to “Arlington”

  1. 5 vitaminlover
    May 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    President Obama is so honorable and shows such respect for our fallen warriors.

  2. 6 GGail
    May 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Good West Coast Memorial Day morning Chipsticks & TOD family.

    I hope everyone takes a moment to really think about the sacrifices our men and women in service made and make to protect freedom.

  3. 7 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

  4. 9 proudmemberofglobalzero
    May 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Great post! Off to work. Keep the ship steering straight “Forward”!

  5. May 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Chipsticks, thank you for the pictures and videos from today’s ceremony.

  6. 11 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm

  7. May 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm

  8. May 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    • 14 Nena20409
      May 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks for posting this….Oct 31, 2009. I have tried to embed the Video…..from CBS, ABC, etc…..but failed. I didn’t try C-SPAN.org. I have never been successful in bringing a video from that network.

    • 15 Nena20409
      May 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Found a Youtube Tape
      Oct 31, 2009….. at the Dover, DE Airforce Base.

  9. May 27, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Happy Memorial Day everyone!

    Hey Chips – Your boy Robbie got a hat trick last night! It was 4-0 before the half!

  10. May 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I think my President’s heart is especially heavy today.

    • 22 MightyPamela
      May 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      I sense that also, meta. Let us lift him up.

        • 24 HZ
          May 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm

          Meta and MightyPamela, I just said the same thing to myself again. I first felt it when I watched him this morning.

          I know because of his duties today has much to do with it all, but his spirit seemed so very, very heavy. We know and feel our President so well. That is a spiritual connection that we all have, I am sure.HZ

  11. 26 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel thanks service members, the fallen and their families on his first Memorial Day in office.
    Video by Sgt. Aaron Hostutler, USMC.

  12. 27 desertflower
    May 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    http://nation.time.com/2013/05/24/on-memorial-day-remember-the-sequester/ h/t to Steve Benen

    only one other group of Americans has felt the sequester’s force: military families.

    And that’s because, for us military families, the numbers aren’t abstract figures. As the survey states, “The impact of sequestration has been notable in the form of deployment cancellations and delays; but there have also been increased uncertainties with scheduled PCS [permanent change of station] moves, and DoD [Department of Defense] schools are enduring budget cuts and furloughs that are impacting the education of our children.”

    Here’s what that looks like under a magnifying glass:

    – Some military families have to maintain two homes they can’t afford, because a work transfer was delayed after the next house was already bought.

    – Civilian teachers in the 194 Department of Defense-run schools worldwide will be furloughed, which affects the number of school days in the year and the school’s accreditation (with potentially dire consequences for a high-schooler’s admission to college).

    – A carrier deployment was called off, and with it the planned for “at-sea” pay subsidies that some families depend on.

    – The timing of the adoption of a child must be re-negotiated.

    Suddenly, it’s personal.

  13. 28 WilTal
    May 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    So very sad.

  14. May 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm

  15. 31 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      • 33 carolyn
        May 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm

        About eight years ago, I was privileged to visit the American cemetery at Dover Beach. It was mind numbing and humbling. If you read the comments at the above article, two people mention how beautifully the French take care of these cemeteries. This is absolutely correct. They honor our fallen with theirs.
        Knowing this was one more reason I resented all the anti-French rhetoric after 9/11 when GWB and company were mad at the French for not going into Iraq, and renamed French fries “freedom fries” etc. The French warned us about Viet Nam, and warned us about Iraq from their experience in Algeria. They are an old country, and we have something to learn from them. They are living with the results of their ill advised wars too.

        • 34 carolyn
          May 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm

          Oh my…….a very senior moment I think. Dover Beach wasn’t right…..it was Omaha Beach in Normandy where the American Cemetery is. The description remains the same. I was on my way home from the grocery store when I realized “Duh……Carolyn…..it’s Omaha not Dover silly.” If you ever have the chance, like Arlington, it will leave you speechless.

  16. May 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm

  17. 36 desertflower
    May 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Why McCain wasn’t at his weekend job as a talking head on Sunday shows………………


    • 37 africa
      May 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Hey DF. Hope all is well with you and family.

      He needs to go sit down somewhere. Just sit down. Sigh.

      • 38 desertflower
        May 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        Hey, africa! All is well 🙂 Hope that all is well for you and yours. Yeah, he needs to sit down alright! In his damn RETIREMENT ROCKER! There. I feel better now. Hugs to you!

    • 40 99ts
      May 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Obviously thinks he won the 2008 election – senile old man

  18. 41 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Why is McCain in Syria talking to the Rebels, beating the War drum?
    He isn’t making any decisions, why is he there?

    • 42 jackiegrumbacher
      May 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Having lost all credibility in the US and totally devoid of any authority to do anything but whine, he’s gone to Syria to see if anyone else in the world will take him seriously. He’s banking on the fact that the rebels won’t know who he is and therefore won’t openly laugh at whatever half-baked nonsense he spouts. Looks like John Kerry will have another act to clean up in the ME. Also you can bet on the fact that his wife encouraged this trip so he wouldn’t think of taking his Memorial Day break at home.

      • 43 Lovepolitics2008
        May 27, 2013 at 4:55 pm

        Republicans don’t respect any rules. You DON’T go on foreign soil to undermine the president’s foreign policy. I’m not sure he went there just to “talk”. Who knows what the republicans and the defense contractors are doing behind the scenes ??

    • 44 MightyPamela
      May 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Do we know where Sec. Kerry stands on this kind of thing? Seems wrong to me…

      • 45 99ts
        May 27, 2013 at 7:54 pm

        Wrong is very polite MightyPamela – despicable and insane is closer – he seems to have forgotten all those powers which belong to the President & his administration. He has undermined PBO from day 1 – probably with more hatred than anyone else in the congress. Instead of blaming PBO for his electoral loss, he should look at his disastrous decision making.

  19. 46 GGail
    May 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you Chipsticks for helping us to remember, to reflect, and to pay respect to our military with this tribute.

  20. 47 sjterrid
    May 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I want to thank those that served and their families, and especially those that died in service. I want to thank all our veterans that may post or lurk on TOD.

  21. 48 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm


  22. May 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    HI EVERYONE: I have an update!!

    I just learned that I will be having surgery tomorrow. I will have a rod inserted into my right leg. It is due to the cancer and the doctor said my leg could break at any minute so I need the surgery asap.

    So wish me luck and all that you do ,for tomorrow. It’s my 3rd in 2 months(?) I think. Sigh.

  23. 79 Nena20409
    May 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    R&S and now this post…….truly magnificent. Great job. Awesome. Brilliant. Thank You so very much, Ms. Chips.

  24. May 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Updating the post with more pics

  25. 84 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  26. 85 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm

  27. 86 africa
    May 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Hey everybody. Happy Memorial Day. Just wanted to share this little tid-bit convo I had recently regarding PBO.

    MSM/GOP just talking to themselves.

    People out there not buying their mess. So, I am out yesterday. Bought a used van. Took it to mechanic to look it over for me. Shop owned by an AA, who was once incarcerated, and now owns his own business. So very impressive.

    Any way, so, we get to talking and conversation settles on PBO. Mechanic says, he knows what he’s doing but they just won’t let him be. You see how he’s been talking about bridges in this country and we have one just fall apart. See, he said. I responded by saying, yes. I noted that PBO talks about fraying infrastructure every time he gives major speeches regarding economy, etc.

    Then, another lady finishing up her transaction, noted: “So you see what they are doing to him again?” I told her yep, I see. She went on to say that they pick on him for one thing after another and that she was just tired of it all. She was referring to the latest made up scandals nonsense.

    Same thing, I ran into on my walking path. Elderly lady I pass during morning walks — she’s the one I blogged about during elections — the one I thought for sure she was GOP, until she told me she supported PBO. She told me that these “knuckleheads” (AKA GOP) are doing nothing for the country but all they do is “nitpick” at PBO for everything. She too said she was disgusted with them.

    She watches MSNBC. Says she can’t stand FOX. I told her that MSM are not any better, because they are just wired for GOP.

    So, when people say people are not mad at PBO regarding these made up scandals because he is doing great with the economy, they don’t know what they are talking about. It is more than that, to my mind. What people see is the constant barrage of nonsensical nitpicking at the president, who is going out here everyday working hard for the American people. I know that this is just only a small anecdote, but this is similar thing I saw, when I was doing voter registration during election.

    • 87 theo67
      May 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      This is why the President and First Lady always mention that what they see when they go out in the world is very different from what is portrayed on TV. Since the GOP and their cohorts don’t actually have anything to do with reality, they can’t recognize it, and certainly can’t describe it to the rest of us.

      • 88 africa
        May 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm

        They think if they keep saying it over and again, people will believe. But for many people it is a huge turn off. And for those blackacademics who think they speak for people out there, boy are they WRONG. What people see is a president trying his darnest to do right by the country and an opposition that is hell bent seeking his failure. They also see a lazy and willing MSM.

        If only they knew. In my immigrant community, in states across the country, when I talk to friends, that’s all they see. MSM still does not get the reason that millions of people braved long lines to vote for President Obama. They just don’t freaking get it.

        • 89 jackiegrumbacher
          May 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

          Africa, the next step is to translate that anger into votes in 2014. We HAVE to keep the Senate and win the House and we can only do that if people are willing to brave those long lines again so that PBO can have a Congress that helps him do his job. The media can go to hell, as far as I’m concerned. What matters is what the American people do on election day.

  28. 90 Nena20409
    May 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    MCCAIN SNEAKS INTO SYRIA………That is The Headline at HP.

    Now, we Know why the Old man was not on the Sunday Shows……he was busy…….as usual, mocking things up.

    SoS Kerry was all over ME, EU and in Northern Africa……So what is McCain there for, exactly? Honestly, this man is just full of himself.

    • 91 theo67
      May 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      And if some harm had come to him there? What would he say then, or his many little cohorts in the Republican party? How does he know he’s not jeopardizing some delicate negotiations with his shenanigans? He’s not a member of the Obama administration, and he isn’t entitled to take foreign policy into his own hands. Infuriating.

      • 92 africa
        May 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        “And if some harm had come to him there?” GOP/MSM default reaction: It’s PBO fault. Dishonest people.

    • 93 anniebella
      May 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Let John McCain stay in Syria. Maybe he can reach his dream of finally being President. And take Palin with him and Little Lying Lindsey too. They can fight over who will be his VP of Syria.

  29. 94 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm


  30. 95 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    From Stars & Stripes
    “In SEAL’s last wishes: A will for the wounded
    In his will, Christopher Campbell asked his family not to focus on his death, but try to get 100,000 people to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps injured service members. His relatives and friends have worked to honor that request ever since. So far, 1,514 people have donated more than $120,000 in his name…” [More here: http://www.stripes.com/news/us/in-seal-s-last-wishes-a-will-for-the-wounded-1.223076

  31. 96 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Seriously? Would you plow that? Wow!!

  32. 100 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    From Star & Stripes:

    How to replace your or a relative’s military medals
    On Memorial Day, we honor those who died while serving in the United States military. Some of the service medals they earned have also been lost over the years. But those decorations do not have to be lost forever — it is possible to have them replaced by following a few steps.
    More here: http://www.stripes.com/news/us/how-to-replace-your-or-a-relative-s-military-medals-1.223070

  33. 101 africa
    May 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    PBO is the best president in my life time. That’s all.

  34. 103 africa
    May 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm

  35. 104 africa
    May 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm

  36. 106 africa
    May 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

  37. 107 kathryn kivett
    May 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Just throwing this out there for discussion….remember a couple weeks ago we read that PBO had a private meeting with McCain? Do you think he went with or without PBO’s blessings?…..Could this be a one upmanship of Hagel since there is very bad blood there?….Inquiring minds want to know!….

    • 108 Nena20409
      May 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      No way. No How. No McCain. SoS John Kerry as of yesterday or so was in that neck of the woods…..ME, EU and North Africa…….No way, No How. No McCain. This president never sends war enthusiasts to be the face of American Diplomacy. No way. No how. Hell No, to John McCain.

    • 112 amk for obama
      May 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      There is no way PBO would have let this stupid hothead, 24×7 angry nut interfere in a sensitive FP issue.

    • 113 Nena20409
      May 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      John McCain is a hot head with very little common sense. He crashed 3/4 planes. He sang Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. In my years of following politics…..since Reagan…..I have yet to read about a war John McCain was not seeking to get USA into.

    • 114 desertflower
      May 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      without.It’s ALWAYS about McCain. He thinks that we should be in Syria helping the rebels more….not good enough what PBO has done to help them, HE knows better! He’s a freaking war monger with shortsighted neocon views. Reacts and makes decisions out of fear, now and always….that’s why he fucks up nearly everything he touches. On this day that we honor our dead war heroes, McCain beats the drums of war yet again and sows seeds of fear and division. He is a punk, and a fraud who uses his veteran status to trick other veterans into believing that he cares about them. He doesn’t. Never did.

    • 115 kathryn kivett
      May 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Princely,,,, sooooooo…..If he went without PBO’s blessings then does that mean he might be considered to be guilty of treason….I mean if the President of US tells you not to do something and you are being paid by the government doesn’t that mean you have done something specifically disloyal to the government?………………just discussing here…personally, I think he is an AH who would do what he could to cause problems.especially for PBO and Hagel………and as far as Huff headlines….it seems to me that a Memorial Day picture to honor our military fallen would be more in order than a blown up picture of McCain………and…..as up above, I’ll bet Cindy McCain bought his ticket…

      • 116 kathryn kivett
        May 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        Princely?????where the hell did that come from….precisely is what I meant…

        • 117 desertflower
          May 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm


          The Obama administration has increased humanitarian aid, but has stopped short of providing lethal assistance to Syrian opposition forces. President Barack Obama has resisted pressure to deepen U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war, wary of getting U.S. forces embroiled in another ground war just as American troops are preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan.

          The Pentagon remains concerned about Assad’s ability to shoot down enemy aircraft with surface-to-air missiles, particularly in a sustained campaign.

          The Pentagon estimates than Syria has five times more air defenses than those that existed in Libya, where the United States helped establish a no-fly zone in 2011. They are also far more densely packed and sophisticated.

          In Libya, there were no Western casualties. But the risks are higher in Syria and it’s unclear whether the war-weary American public – exhausted by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan – would tolerate U.S. casualties.

      • 118 desertflower
        May 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm

        My bet is that he went on OUR dime.

        • 119 Bill
          May 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

          No doubt about it. I think one way Congressional leaders keep control over their members is with their travel budgets.

  38. 120 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm

  39. 121 carolyn
    May 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Looking at the pictures of the president with relatives of the fallen, it occurred to me that we as a people have become used to having a president with compassion these last four years, and one who is not ashamed to show it. Whoever follows him is going to be hard put to follow this and satisfy the American people, I do believe. His actions are not advertised, but over time, people absorb this care and compassion, appreciate it, and will expect his successor to be the same.
    The people in Oklahoma wanted him here after the tornado. They knew somehow that his coming would signal the beginning of healing and that life will be okay again. We realize this, but the American people have invested an enormous amount in him emotionally.

  40. 123 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    He looks like he is ready 2 pounce!

  41. 126 Nena20409
    May 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    To All Our fallen men and Women.

  42. 129 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm

  43. 130 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

  44. 131 desertflower
    May 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Way to go, Texas! Gov Goodhair just screwed you over yet again! Hope Texans GOTV and get rid of these imbeciles!


  45. 132 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Meanwhile, Kerry is meeting Russian Foreign minister, in push for Syrian peace.
    While McCain is in Syria- pushing for War.
    Ain’t that some shit?

  46. 136 Jovie
    May 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    The timing on these scandals come at a time when we were supposed to be hashing out the debt limit spending. But because of higher taxes and Jess spending, the deficit has shrunk, allowing for Government to push back debt limit to October.
    Right when Signing up for Obamacare are starts.
    Next manufacturer crisis, go over debt limit to stop Obamacare and say that the president is using a culture of intimidation, because he doesn’t succumb to the GOP mind games.

  47. 137 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    For Dad, who served as a proud Green Beret

  48. 138 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm

  49. 139 Dudette
    May 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm

  50. 140 Nena20409
    May 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Let Me try and see if a smile or two would appear on this Solemn Holiday.

    This happened in Wisconsin…..a Midwestern State….in my neck of the woods. But according to the Locals….the law, the Cops, this Thong Riding Motorcyclist is NOT, repeat, Not breaking any laws. 😯

    • 141 Dudette
      May 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Yeh but surely operating a video camera with one hand while driving with a small child in the front seat must violate one or two laws.

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