Today, on the 11th of November, we celebrate and honor the dead and the living, the young men and women who in every war since this country began, have given testimony to their loyalty to their country and their own great courage.
We are all free today because for nearly 240 years, whenever freedom and liberty have been threatened, gallant men and women have answered the call from our nation. From all the branches of the military they risked and sometimes gave their lives for America. The rest of us owe more than we can ever repay to the veterans of all wars that our country has fought. We commemorate veterans on this one day, and then American life goes on.
It is appropriate that we recall on this sacred day in our calendar the contribution and the sacrifice which so many men and women–and their families–have made in order to permit the rest of us to enjoy freedom. In difficult times, our veterans kept faith with America.
They kept us free. On this historic day, let us resolve anew to keep faith with them. One of the first and the greatest men to serve the American flag was George Washington, and he left behind an eloquent warning: “To be prepared for war,” George Washington said, “is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”
Unfortunately, more than once in our history we have forgotten that warning. Each time our fighting men and women have paid a very, very heavy toll. In a world tormented by tension and the possibilities of conflict, we now commemorate an historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. On this Veterans Day, we pay special and appropriate tribute to the men and women who put their lives on the line for their country — those who served in the armed services of the United States.
We salute them for their part in the preservation of freedom and honor them for their courage and devotion to Country. All Americans should pause today in tribute to the priceless contribution of all veterans and, in particular, those who gave their lives so America might be free.
Let us make sure, on this solemn day, the debt we owe to so many is properly honored. Let this Veterans Day strengthen our resolve to always walk the extra mile for freedom, but always walk it strong and unafraid–for without a mighty America no peace can long survive.