For over 250 years, the strength and the protection of this nation has always lied in the strength of the army that protected her. As we stand here this Veteran’s Day, we must remember the greatest sacrifice that many of our veterans have made. Willing to give their lives to keep a free people free is the most unselfish thing. One willing to lay their life down for another is the price that no one can match. The Gettysburg Address, which President Abraham Lincoln so eloquently stated, embodies the complete understanding of all that our great men and women of the Armed Forces give and the responsibility of those of us that stand in the shadow of the price that they paid.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Not only are we reminded to honorably and respectfully celebrate those whose lives were given for our freedoms, but all the more, to honor and celebrate those who stand with us today. To all our veterans, We the People of the United States, salute you. We stand in one accord to declare “Thank You” for all your service. You paid a great price when your comrades were lost on the field and after they passed away since their time of service because they were your family. These were your brothers and sisters in arms that fought alongside you. Though many of us can never fully understand all that you have done, the life you led, and the code by which you all stood and still stand in today, we love you for all that you have done and are here for you for all that you may still be going through.
Day after day, as the memories of all you have gone through still stand as only yesterday, we support you and your families. You are a prized possession to this nation. The price you paid reminds us that according to the great Gettysburg Address we must continue to strive with all that is in us to defend what you fought for. We are to take up the mantle because we stand in the freedoms for which you paid. We must never forget your bravery; we must be willing to stand as we honor the great flag that flies over this nation in the victories that you won. We must be willing to stand for the freedoms you bought for us, and defend with all our might, the Great constitution for which you fought. May we here never forget you. May we with the greatest of respect and an attitude of great thankfulness, always remember all you do and have done for this nation. May we always salute you like the great warriors that you are. You have blessed and preserved this nation and its freedoms; for that, we, with our actions and our voices lifted high, say “Thank You.”