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Bush 05-28

Bush pays tribute to fallen

President Bush on Monday honored U.S. troops who have fought and died for freedom and expressed his steely resolve to succeed in the war in Iraq. "As before in our history, Americans find ourselves under attack and underestimated," he said.

Bush marked his sixth Memorial Day as a wartime president with a somber speech at Arlington National Cemetery. He said he hoped the United States always will prove worthy of the sacrifices fallen troops have made, and he recognized the grief suffered by families and friends of troops killed in war, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Now this hallowed ground receives a new generation of heroes — men and women who gave their lives in places such as Kabul and Kandahar, Baghdad and Ramadi," he said. "Like those who came before them, they did not want war, but they answered the call when it came. They believed in something larger than themselves. They fought for our country, and our country unites to mourn them as one."

At least 3,452 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the war in Iraq in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. At least 325 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department.

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