President Clinton honored the nation’s war dead Monday by asking Americans to overcome their divisions and remember that they are joined by common bonds and common purpose.
“Today is a time to remember what joins us as one America,” the president said at a Memorial Day address under drizzling, gray skies at Arlington National Cemetery.
He recalled that the practice of honoring America’s fallen began near the end of the Civil War, when America was a divided nation.
Clinton also asked Americans to remember those who lost their lives on behalf of their nation during peacetime. He spoke of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, who died in a plane crash while on a mission to Bosnia in April, 14 people killed in the crash of two Marine helicopters at Camp Lejeune, N.C., three weeks ago, and Adm. Jeremy Boorda, who committed suicide this month.
“They are American heroes, too, and we are all in their debt,” he said.