Veterans Day 2016

vietnamwall“Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.” –George Washington

Today is Veterans Day. As I stand here in front of The Wall in Washington, DC I encourage all Americans to set aside time and reflect on the sacrifice of our Patriot veterans and those serving today, and honor them accordingly.

On Nov. 11, 1921, an unknown American soldier from World War I was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, in recognition of WWI veterans and in conjunction with the timing of cessation of hostilities at 11 a.m.,

Nov. 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). President Warren Harding requested that: “All … citizens … indulge in a period of silent thanks to God for these … valorous lives and of supplication for His Divine mercy … on our beloved country.”

Inscribed on the Tomb are the words: “Here lies in honored glory an American soldier know but to God.” The day became known as “Armistice Day.” In 1954, Congress, wanting to recognize the sacrifice of veterans since WWI, proposed to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day in their honor. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Supreme Commander in WWII, signed the legislation.

To honor those veterans who sacrificed all, an Army honor guard from the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) keeps day and night vigil at Arlington. At 11 a.m. this morning, a combined color guard representing all military service branches executed “Present Arms” at the tomb for the laying of a wreath by the president, followed by “Taps.”

More than a million Patriots stand ready, or are actively defending our nation today. These men and women were not drafted into service, but volunteered to serve. To all our veterans: Thank you for your dedicated service to the cause of liberty.

To the wounded soldiers and civilians, and the families of those killed or wounded at Fort Hood: Our prayers are with you.

Where are all the Islam memorials!

Insight

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse.” –John Stuart Mill

“A really great people, proud and high-spirited, would face all the disasters of war rather than purchase that base prosperity which is bought at the price of national honor.” –Theodore Roosevelt

“Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.” –George S. Patton

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” –Sir Winston S. Churchill

“It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country … in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired.

But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men.

They gave up everything for their country, for us. All we can do is remember.” –Ronald Reagan

For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know! We will never forget!