"Ninety years ago today, the guns fell silent in Europe. World War I – the 'war to end all wars' – was over. Almost five million Americans served during that first modern, mechanized war. Our last living link with them, 107-year-old Army veteran Frank Buckles, observes this Veterans Day at his farm in West Virginia.
"It is important, on Veterans Day, for all Americans to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our veterans, from Mr. Buckles to the men and women who recently fought for us [and still are] in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Their bravery, their resourcefulness, and their patriotism mark them as our nation’s finest citizens."
"On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who in defense of our freedom have bravely worn the uniform of the United States.
From the fields and forests of war-torn Europe to the jungles of Southeast Asia, from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan, brave patriots have protected our Nation's ideals, rescued millions from tyranny, and helped spread freedom around the globe. America's veterans answered the call when asked to protect our Nation from some of the most brutal and ruthless tyrants, terrorists, and militaries the world has ever known. They stood tall in the face of grave danger and enabled our Nation to become the greatest force for freedom in human history. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard have answered a high calling to serve and have helped secure America at every turn.
Our country is forever indebted to our veterans for their quiet courage and exemplary service. We also remember and honor those who laid down their lives in freedom's defense. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit. On Veterans Day, we remember these heroes for their valor, their loyalty, and their dedication. Their selfless sacrifices continue to inspire us today as we work to advance peace and extend freedom around the world."
It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus [or community] organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Veterans Day Message from Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee
Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
A 'war veteran' (from Latin vetus, meaning "old") is a person who has served or is serving in the armed forces.
Our Vets: Heroes...Defenders of Freedom...Warriors...Protectors
They are our sons, our daughters, our husbands, our wives, our mothers and fathers. They're your neighbor, your teacher, your police officer, your doctor, your nurse, your pastor. They are young and old, tall and short, and from every ethnic background. They live in cities and rural communities, in the North, the South, the East, the West.
Some served one tour and others a lifetime. Some during times of peace yet others in the bloodiest battles of Germany, France, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, or other countries of turmoil. Many have sacrificed their limbs, their eyes, their future and many have sacrificed their lives.
Yet they all seem to have a common thread of selfless valor that runs through their veins. They are true patriots who, because they deeply love their country, their families and their freedoms, courageously prepare for battle so if they are called to defend this nation that they so love, they are ready.
I visited Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego yesterday and placed flowers and a flag on my son's grave -- my Mighty Warrior, Marc Alan Lee, the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq 8-2-06. As I drove in the main gate, there were 6 extra flags at the base of the huge flag pole. The wind was causing the flags to appear as though they were standing proudly at attention.
As I sat on Marc's grave and processed through the different emotions of pride, of love, of emptiness, I glanced up the hill through the rows and rows of marble headstones to the flags that were majestically flapping in the extreme wind. So many have given so much to make sure that those colors still fly boldly representing "One Nation under God," and the freedoms that we have in America. Freedoms we enjoy because of all of our Vets whether Sailors, Marines, Soldiers or Airmen, our Vets who deeply gave.
I know the price of freedom and I understand the sacrifices that our troops have given. They have done that for me, for you, for this nation. They didn't do that for rewards or medals or recognition, but today, please join me as our nation chooses to remember collectively and thank them and celebrate who they are and what they have selflessly given. I choose to do that every day because they are my HEROES and I am so grateful!
I am sharing with you Marc's last letter home that we have called his "Glory" letter. You will be inspired and moved. He challenges us to do random acts of kindness and I would ask you, in his memory, to honor our Vets today by picking up the check for their meal, coffee, groceries or whatever you can. Be generous! It's a small token of our appreciation for all they have sacrificed. These are my heroes and they have given so much, not expecting anything in return. Attend a parade, thank them, shake their hands, give them a hug from a grateful nation.
Don't forget those who are deployed. Send a care package, e-mail a card, check on their families. Please remember the families of the fallen who gave it all and share your gratitude and love with them.
Thank you to every one of you who has served or who is serving. You are my heroes and today I celebrate you and honor you for all you have sacrificed and given for me and my freedoms.
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