Honoring those who protect our freedoms on Veterans Day
From the battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill in 1775, to the mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the skies over Libya today, Americans have fought and are fighting to give and to ensure the freedoms we enjoy here in the greatest country that ever was.
Over these 236 years of our country’s history, millions of men and women of all races, of all beliefs, across the spectrum of our society – sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters – have gone to war for us.
They have endured conditions to which we would not submit wild animals: stifling heat, numbing cold, dry desserts, humid jungles, baking sun, torrential rains, disease, insufficient food and neverending loneliness for those they had to leave behind – those they went to war to save.
They have met with courage, deadly enemies great and small – from world powers to vicious tribes – around the earth, on its ground, in and under its waters, and through its air, in conflicts and wars of all sizes, both hot and cold, winning the peace but never conquest.
They’ve faced bullets, bombs, bayonets, barricades, tanks, machine guns, Gatling guns, mortars, poison gas, torpedoes, flax, land mines, depth charges and many other weapons of unimaginable destruction – charging beaches, trenches, mountains, ships and planes – taking war to the enemies, keeping them from here.
The greatest weapon in America’s arsenal is the will of its fighting forces to win. Our nation is special today, and the world is safer today, because of them and their unselfish sacrifices.
No one ever goes to war and remains unchanged; no one returns home the same person that left to do his or her duty. Of those we sent into harm’s way, many did not return but most did – some on stretchers, some in wheelchairs and some walking, the wounded and the well all having paid a great price for us and for our freedom.
These are America’s veterans, those we honor on Veterans Day and those we should thank every day for all they’ve done for us. Our precious country, our lives in freedom, would not exist without them and their sacrifices.
Remember them with gratitude, their families too, who sacrificed with them, on their special day. Keep them in your hearts and prayers every day, as we thank them for all they’ve done for us.