Ninety-nine years ago today, when Americans celebrated the end of World War I, people hoped it would be the war that ended all wars. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be. Since that first Veterans’ Day, hundreds of thousands of brave men and women have worn the uniforms of the United States military in defense — not just of our liberty — but of the liberties of countless nations and people around the world. In peacetime and in war, our soldiers have missed birthdays, Christmases, and other memories with their families in order to protect ours.
Every night of every day, Americans sleep in peace because of men and women they’ve never met — and some they’ll never have the chance to. These are good and decent people who’ve performed remarkable acts of heroism for a cause they’ve decided is bigger than themselves. This year, they have the honor of serving under a commander-in-chief who respects the selflessness of our military and is doing everything he can to show it through policies that rebuild the proud tradition of their service. We join them in thanking the president for showing the courageous leadership our military needs to put their mission first.
From the Greatest Generation to the troops serving today in posts all over the world, we are profoundly grateful to so many of you who have dedicated your lives — and the lives of your families — to preserving America’s ideals. As a veteran of the Marine Corps, I thank God that our nation has been blessed with an effective, dedicated force that’s freed the world from some of history’s fiercest enemies. There were no guarantees in 1776 that America would make it to 2017 as a free nation. That freedom had to be protected every day by courageous citizens, who often pay the ultimate price. Today, we honor that sacrifice — and pray God’s protection on the red, white, and blue.
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