Americans. To those families and especially my parents I thank you for understanding and standing with us. This day belongs to you as well.
The hallmark of being a veteran is service and sacrifice. We meet here today to honor and pay tribute to those who have served and those who continue to serve.
They who serve that we may enjoy the best America has to offer; FREEDOM AND PEACE AT HOME. Those who choose to serve in the ranks of our military do so voluntarily. Some first join to help pay for school. Some join in the pursuit of learning a job skill for when they return to the comfort of home and family. Others join because it was their childhood dream to take up the Profession of Arms. But whatever their reason they all
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This starts from the first moment of realization and fear that we are about to enter the world of They (our fathers, uncles, sisters and brothers) who went before us to graduate from basic training or boot camp and to deploy all over the world. They who told us stories of night time jumps out of perfectly good aircraft; marches carrying unbearable loads for miles and then the only respite and rest is to lay in an ambush for the enemy; long hours sweating in wet jungles and dry deserts; fighting and some loosing limbs and some making the ultimate sacrifice. Those are some of the price veterans have paid and continue to pay while standing at the gate. There are other moments of sacrifice: Sacrifices of missed opportunities such as children’s birth, family weddings, anniversaries and special holidays. Those moments which bond the family together and create special memories for our parents and siblings. Our service men and women have sacrificed these times for something larger tan their own comfort and free time. They have done so with the thought of upholding, supporting all that our constitution stands for: the freedoms of the people of the United States.
Now, today, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan give rise to a fresh appreciation for those in uniform. Since 9-11, Americans young and old alike have turned to our military as the symbolic and very real, source of national strength. Our most potent weapon in war, without a doubt, is the brave men and women in