Today, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, America pauses to thank our 25 million veterans. Not every veteran has seen the fury of battle, but each has stood ready to defend their country's principles of justice, liberty and opportunity to their death. In times of war, the fates of countries and sometimes the world were placed on the backs of America's veterans.
These men, many just boys, ignored the instinct of self-preservation and fearlessly stormed the beaches of Normandy, fought in the jungles of New Guinea, battled the Viet Cong, stood guard in the Cold War, and liberated the oppressed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Southeast Asia and throughout Europe and the planet. America, indeed the world, is indelibly grateful to these selfless and valiant defenders of freedom.
Today also serves as a poignant reminder that many of our servicemen never made it home to be called a veteran and hear the thanks they so sorely deserve. All gave some, some gave all, but all deserve our utmost respect and sincere thanks.