This morning I awoke with a sense of gratitude, as I often do, for being fortunate enough to live in the United States. Where else in the world is there a greater sense of optimism, hope and renewal than in the United States? Even during difficult times, our blessings seem to overflow.
The freedoms we enjoy are too abundant to count and too precious to take for granted.
The price has been paid and it continues to be guarded by the very best our country has had to offer.
Some of our enemies have been easy to identify by their military uniforms and national borders. Others have been much harder to detect, sending packages of terror. And yet, our military heroes have fought back those bent on our very destruction.
Career military member and citizen soldier alike have gone to dangerous areas around the world, in order to maintain our safety at home.
Deserts, mountains, wetlands and every other conceivable type of terrain have tested our best. While some battles have been lost, our brave men and women have returned as victors.
Some of our heroes have never returned and experienced our gratitude.
Our veterans know too well the importance of Memorial Day, as we reflect on the fallen. While we know the names of the lost heroes, our veterans know not only their names, but also the names of their parents, spouses, children and friends. They served together and fought for each other, as well as for all of us.
Our veterans who served during peaceful times ensured that no war was to be fought, by their very presence.
The price of our freedoms has been high for those who have safeguarded them, as well as their families.
I have the privilege of knowing some of you.
I’ve shaken some of your hands in airports, as you have arrived home, or left for your tours of duty.
I’ve stopped some of you in shopping malls, restaurants and at church, in order to thank you for all you have done.
However, I have not had the honor to thank all of you.
So, on this Veterans Days I would like to personally thank all of our veterans, from all times of service, for all you have done to keep us free and safe.
The time you served in the United States military has kept us free and helped to make the United States a better nation and for that I am abundantly grateful.