I don’t think anyone understands the true meaning of Veterans Day better than the Veterans themselves, those brave men and women, who wore our Nation’s uniform, regardless of their job while in the service, they were part of a brotherhood, part of a team, that willingly defended the freedoms of our great Nation.
In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns fighting in World War I fell silent. President Woodrow Wilson, called it “the war to end all wars,” and ordered that the Armistice be commemorated in succeeding years. After the Korean War, President Dwight Eisenhower renamed the holiday “Veterans Day,” to salute all veterans, no matter when or where they served.
Today we use Veterans Day to remember the sacrifices of those who died in our Nation’s defense and to honor those who survived the bitter struggles to keep our Nation strong and free.
I believe the citizens of this great Nation owe so much to our Veterans, it is a debt that truly cannot be repaid. What do you offer someone who willingly sacrificed their life, or lost limbs, the families that have suffered along with their service member, what truly can you offer someone who willingly risked everything so that you can enjoy the freedoms that you sometimes take for granted? I know a heartfelt Thank You is always a great place to start, I am truly thankful for the Heroes that did so much for me and my family, I can never say it enough…Thank You!
Our Veterans are often this Nation’s unsung Heroes. Their families and friends may have been the only ones who knew the sacrifices they made to serve our great country. In peacetime, it was easy to forget that these men and women were on duty in lonely outposts around the world. Our Veterans missed the births of their children, wedding anniversaries and graduations. They have spent holidays in soggy rice paddies in Vietnam, amid the sands of the Iraqi desert, and in the cold and rugged mountains of Afghanistan. And they did it as you continue today out of a loyalty to our Constitution, our freedoms and the American dream that all people should be allowed to live in freedom.
Many American military members died on foreign soil, defending the cause of freedom around the world. They gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers, wives and mothers. They gave up everything for their country, and for us.
Service isn’t just about long hours and sacrifices, it’s about our values. Our Veterans are the epitome of what it means to be good citizens. They have given us a lifetime of service, and the country has been enriched by their contributions, both in and out of uniform.
To all Veterans, past and present, Again I say Thank You!!… Thank You for your sacrifices, for your sense of duty, and for your service. Our Nation salutes you and I salute you.