ARLINGTON, VA - U.S. Senator John McCain has issued the following statement:
"A grateful nation pays tribute today to those brave souls who gave their lives to protect our freedom.
"I once had the privilege to serve with men who never gave a second thought to making the ultimate sacrifice to guard this freedom. They were willing to fall from the line if it meant that America would remain in control of its own destiny.
"Their act of sacrifice was ultimate and final, but the immeasurable courage it required endures in our hearts and sustains us to this day.
"There was a time not long ago when some questioned whether America's youth was committed to service. This is no longer the case. So many brave young men and women have volunteered to put themselves in harm's way against an enemy whose reach is global, whose hatred is limitless.
"On this solemn day, we pause for a moment to pray with the loved ones of our fallen heroes, and give our gratitude to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who continue to do us proud. I say to each one of them, 'thank you and God bless.'"