Na última segunda-feira de Maio, nos EUA assinala-se o Memorial Day. “Obama spoke on a sun-splashed morning at the amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery after he placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.”
Do discurso do Presidente, recorto:
Beyond these quiet hills, across that special bridge, is a city of monuments dedicated to visionary leaders and singular moments in the life of our Republic. But it is here, on this hallowed ground, where we choose to build a monument to a constant thread in the American character — the truth that our nation endures because it has always been home to men and women who are willing to give their all, and lay down their very lives, to preserve and protect this land that we love.
That character — that selflessness — beats in the hearts of the very first patriots who died for a democracy they had never known and would never see. It lived on in the men and women who fought to hold our union together, and in those who fought to defend it abroad — from the beaches of Europe to the mountains and jungles of Asia. This year, as we mark the 60th anniversary of the end of fighting in Korea, we offer a special salute to all those who served and gave their lives in the Korean War. And over the last decade, we’ve seen the character of our country again — in the nearly 7,000 Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice on battlefields and city streets half a world away.
And so, as I said last week, America stands at a crossroads. But even as we turn the page on a decade of conflict, even as we look forward, let us never forget, as we gather here today, that our nation is still at war.
It should be self-evident. And in generations past, it was. And during World War II, millions of Americans contributed to the war effort — soldiers like my own grandfather; women like my grandmother, who worked the assembly lines. During the Vietnam War, just about everybody knew somebody — a brother, a son, a friend — who served in harm’s way.
Today, it’s different. Perhaps it’s a tribute to our remarkable all-volunteer force, made up of men and women who step forward to serve and do so with extraordinary skill and valor. Perhaps it’s a testament to our advanced technologies, which allow smaller numbers of troops to wield greater and greater power. But regardless of the reason, this truth cannot be ignored that today most Americans are not directly touched by war.
As a consequence, not all Americans may always see or fully grasp the depth of sacrifice, the profound costs that are made in our name — right now, as we speak, every day.”
Da passagem pelo Cemitério de Arlington, lembro-me que evoquei o (antigo) «Jardins de Pedra», filme de Francis Ford Coppola. O lugar é solene, impressionante, triste. A memória dos «fallen», evocada no discurso, apela, mais do que à memória, ao tributo. O que pode bem ser um alerta – especialmente quando se considera “our nation is stil in war”…