The Fallen Served for Our Freedom

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 25:   A member of the honor guard stands as the motorcade carrying U.S. President Barack Obama arrives fo
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 25: A member of the honor guard stands as the motorcade carrying U.S. President Barack Obama arrives for a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery May 25, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. Obama, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey and U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter honored fallen soldiers at Arlington on this Memorial Day. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Memorial Day is all about celebrating the lives of the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. The United States is made great because of their heroism. Their lives are remembered, honored, and celebrated by all of us, including the friends, family and fellow service members who knew them best.

Sadly, this month we lost six U.S. Marines when their helicopter went down during a relief mission for those impacted by the Nepal earthquake. Those Marines included U.S. Marine Corporal Sara Medina of Aurora, IL. Our hearts go out to the families of these Marines and we will never forget their great contribution to our country.

This is also a time to reflect on the lives that have been lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. We have lost 6,861 brave American soldiers in these wars, and thousands more have been injured. We will forever honor their patriotism and the bravery of those lost in prior wars.

So this Memorial Day, as families and friends gather, we must pay homage to those who gave their lives for us. We must do everything we can to support the loved ones of the fallen as we mark Memorial Day and always. The United States is the greatest country in the world because of their sacrifice.