By DoD News
US President Barack Obama issued a statement today expressing his condolences and those of the first lady to the families of 12 Marines lost in an apparent helicopter collision off the Hawaiian coast last week.
The Coast Guard called off its search for possible survivors Jan. 20, and officials announced yesterday that the Marines had been officially declared dead and that their families had been notified.
“As we mourn this loss, we are reminded of the sacrifice men and women of our armed forces make each day for the freedom and security of their fellow Americans,” the president said in his statement. “The willingness of our troops to complete dangerous training to prepare for any mission our nation asks of them will not be forgotten.”
The spirit of the missing Marines was reflected in the actions of the many dozens of service members and others in Hawaii who searched day and-night for the downed helicopters, Obama added.
“Communities from coast to coast are mourning these Marines, and our nation is forever grateful for their patriotism, service, and sacrifice,” the president said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones at this difficult hour.”