Today is Veteran’s Day and regardless of your political leanings we are all Americans and should take a moment today to reflect on the sacrifices our fellow Americans have made and continue to make for our freedoms and those of our brothers and sisters around the world.
If you choose to read on the following is an excerpt from President Obama’s speech at Fort Hood which underlines the gravity of the war we are in and the faith we have in our troops to meet this challenge.
Tomorrow is Veterans Day. It is a chance to pause, and to pay tribute – for students to learn of the struggles that preceded them; for families to honor the service of parents and grandparents; for citizens to reflect upon the sacrifices that have been made in pursuit of a more perfect union. For history is filled with heroes. You may remember the stories of a grandfather who marched across Europe; an uncle who fought in Vietnam; a sister who served in the Gulf.
But as we honor the many generations who have served, I think all of us – every single American – must acknowledge that this generation has more than proved itself the equal of those who have come before. We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes. This generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have volunteered in a time of certain danger. They are part of the finest fighting force that the world has ever known. They have served tour after tour of duty in distant, different and difficult places. They have stood watch in blinding deserts and on snowy mountains. They have extended the opportunity of self-government to peoples that have suffered tyranny and war.
They are man and woman; white, black, and brown; of all faiths and stations – all Americans, serving together to protect our people, while giving others half a world away the chance to lead a better life. In today’s wars, there is not always a simple ceremony that signals our troops’ success – no surrender papers to be signed, or capital to be claimed. But the measure of their impact is no less great – in a world of threats that no know borders, it will be marked in the safety of our cities and towns, and the security and opportunity that is extended abroad. And it will serve as testimony to the character of those who serve, and the example that you set for America and for the world.
(Photo: U.S. Army soldiers stand together as salute during the playing of taps at the memorial service that U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended for the thirteen victims of the shooting rampage on November 10, 2009 in Fort Hood, Texas. By Joe Raedle/Getty Images)