On May 28, 2012, President Barack Obama delivered remarks at Arlington National Cemetery and at the Vietnam War Memorial to commemorate Memorial Day. In recognition of this day, President Obama also authored an op-ed, which appeared in the Military Times and Stars and Stripes. President Obama wrote:
"Today, all across America, we're coming together to remember our men and women in uniform who gave their lives so that we could live free. In town squares and national cemeteries, in moments of quiet reflection and parades down city streets, we'll pay tribute to all those who gave the last full measure of their devotion, from Lexington and Concord to Iraq and Afghanistan.
"This Memorial Day also holds special significance because it marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. It was 50 years ago -- January 1962 -- when U.S. Army pilots on dozens of helicopters transported South Vietnamese troops into the jungles outside Saigon for a raid against enemy forces. It was one of America's first major operations in Vietnam and another turning point in what would become one of our longest wars."
Delivering remarks at the Vietnam War Memorial today, President Obama said, "[W]e recall all those who gave everything in the darkness of war so we could stand here in the glory of spring...we honor each of those names etched in stone -- 58,282 American patriots. We salute all who served with them. And we stand with the families who love them still."
In a Presidential Proclamation, President Obama said:
"In the reflection of The Wall, we see the military family members and veterans who carry a pain that may never fade. May they find peace in knowing their loved ones endure, not only in medals and memories, but in the hearts of all Americans, who are forever grateful for their service, valor, and sacrifice.
"In recognition of a chapter in our Nation's history that must never be forgotten, let us renew our sacred commitment to those who answered our country's call in Vietnam and those who awaited their safe return. Beginning on Memorial Day 2012, the Federal Government will partner with local governments, private organizations, and communities across America to participate in the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War -- a 13-year program to honor and give thanks to a generation of proud Americans who saw our country through one of the most challenging missions we have ever faced. While no words will ever be fully worthy of their service, nor any honor truly befitting their sacrifice, let us remember that it is never too late to pay tribute to the men and women who answered the call of duty with courage and valor."