“Memorial Day is a day for us to remember the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. What we honor and remember today is the cost of the freedom we all enjoy.
“These sacrifices helped write the story of America, from the revolution that gave birth to a free nation to the international conflicts that too often required our military personnel to give their last full measure of devotion.
“That history doesn’t lessen the loss felt by those left behind. The sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers who are left to mourn need to know we stand with them.
“While we enjoy time with friends and family today, I encourage everyone to take a moment to remember the lives lost, freedoms saved and loved ones left mourning through sacrifice for country.
“And to those of you who help serve and work with Washington’s thousands of veterans, thank you. I know how important your work is and appreciate the care and compassion you show to our veterans and their families every day.
“While today is set aside to remember our fallen soldiers, let us also pause to thank those who still serve in harm’s way and the many veterans who proudly served and now expect and deserve that we will honor them as they honored us.
“At the request of President Obama, I have ordered the State of Washington and American flags be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon today.
“Trudi and I offer our condolences to all those Washingtonians who have lost service members and keep in our hearts all those who continue to serve their country.”