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U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Speaks at Arlington National Cemetery

Aired May 27, 2002 - 11:38   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRIS OSBORN, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to now take you to another Memorial Day situation, which is the comments from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. He is speaking at Arlington National Cemetery. Let's listen.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: Earlier today, on a peaceful beach in Normandy, President Bush paid tribute to another generation of young men, who fought for those same values at another desperate moment in history, when freedom and justice hung in the balance. Back then, there were others who thought we were weak.

But on those beaches, young men, young men much like Vince Tolbert and Todd Beamer, men who were good sons, good fathers, good citizens, gained a foothold. And those unexpected heroes, set about saving the West, so that freedom and the Democratic values we all cherish could prevail.

(APPLAUSE)

In his remarks today, President Bush reflected on what they did there on a beach that was once dense with the instruments of war, along with the living, and the wounded and the dead. And he recalled the words of one GI, who reflecting back on the service of his youth, said, "I feel like I have played my part in turning this from a century of darkness into a century of light."

As the son of an immigrant, I know how fortunate we are to live in this country, guided by the great light of freedom, how blessed that we are to live free, free from persecution and fear, for each one of us to be able to say, I am an American.

(APPLAUSE)

WOLFOWITZ: And how fortunate, how deeply fortunate we are, to know that there are those who have been willing to risk death for that. I have long believed that America's greatest power, even more than our vast resources, more than the beauty we see all around us, more than our great melting pot and our military might, America's greatest power is what it stands for. George Washington knew that. Abraham Lincoln knew that.

Lincoln concluded as a young man, and firmly believed until his death, that this nation, our system of government, holds out, as he said, a great promise to all the people of the world for all time.

Now, we face another hour of great testing, and yes, liberty, our way of life, is once again in peril, and we remind ourselves once more, who we are, and what we stand for, and what we are fighting for. And we hear again the words spoken by President Bush, words we will not forget, words for those of us who live or work nearby, for who tomorrow or sometime soon will go home, after being drawn to this hallowed ground, ground where heroes sleep.

We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter. And we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.

(APPLAUSE)

God bless you. God bless the men and women who serve our country so faithfully and so well. And god bless America.

OSBORN: We were listening to comments from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz talk at Arlington National Cemetary, a very significant place, talking about the sacrifices being made by those fighting the war against terrorism, and comparing home to what the president talked about today on the beaches of Normandy, the sacrifices of those made on the D-Day invasion back in World War II.

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