Since the founding of our country, over 48 million citizens have served in our military. On Veteran's Day, we honor those men and women, living and dead, that have served and sacrificed for our country.
When we think about the sacrifice that our veterans have made, we often think about their service in far away places under conditions that are less than ideal. Some of our veterans have faced the horrors of war and have seen the worst of human nature. Some have lived in conditions that most of us would find intolerable. They have missed the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, and innumerable family moments.
Some have made the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their life in defense of our freedom and defending those that cannot defend themselves.
One often wonders why those that are serving today and those that have served make these sacrifices.
It would be easy to say that our veterans have served and sacrificed because of a sense of duty and patriotism, and I am sure that is a part of their reasoning.
But duty alone doesn't explain all that our veteran's have done for us as a nation.
I believe they have pledged their lives in service because they value our country and what it stands for. More fundamentally, they value each of us as citizens and individuals. They treasure our freedoms. They esteem our aspirations and dreams. And they have pledged themselves to defend our freedom as a country and as individuals.
Veterans Day is an acknowledgement of the sacrifices of our veterans.
It is also a day to acknowledge the selflessness of our veterans and the fact that they have put your interests and mine in front of their individual desires.
It humbles us to realize that men and women of courage and selflessness have served and are serving you and me.
To all our veterans that have served and our serving, we honor you not only on this day but every day.
And we offer our unyielding gratitude for all you have done.