Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today at the U.S. Capitol remembrance ceremony honoring our troops, veterans and their families for five years of service and sacrifice in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
“One hundred forty-two years ago, in this hall where we now sit and stand, laid in state the martyred body of President Abraham Lincoln. Americans came from every corner of our country that day to grieve the President and honor the ideals expressed in his second inaugural address: ‘With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right – as God gives us to see the right – let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.’
“Today we stand together, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans, all, to honor every airman, soldier, sailor and marine who has served – and every American hero who has perished in the far-off land of Iraq.
“We pay special tribute to the more than 30,000 gallant Americans wounded in battle, and to the 3,987 who have paid the ultimate price. We honor their parents, children, husbands, wives and friends: those they loved and those who loved them. They, too, bear a heavy burden in service to the ideals we cherish.
“And while today’s focus is on the five-year war in Iraq, we do not forget the men and women who have sacrificed in Afghanistan. We could not possibly honor our troops with words to match the honorof their brave action.
“But let it be known to all – from the beaches of America to the sands of Iraq – that they are in our hearts and in our prayers. And that in their honor and in their memory, we will – in the words of Abraham Lincoln – always ‘cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.’”