No nation in the history of the world has ever done more or given more in the defense of world freedom than the United States and its citizens.
Just as our veterans recognized their duty to honor and serve their Country, we too must recognize our duty as Americans to honor the profound sacrifices they made so that we could live our lives in freedom.
We can never forget the courage and bravery demonstrated by the millions of men and women who have left their homes, their families and their communities to serve our Country and who continue to risk their lives each and every day in order to protect us.
There is no greater obligation than to honor and thank our veterans for their service to our nation, whether in times of peace or in times of war. This Veterans Day, I will participate in a service at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Auburn paying tribute to the brave men and women who have defended our Nation. As State Senator, I was proud to help establish Veterans Memorial Park to honor local veterans of all wars, beginning with the American Revolution up to today’s soldiers.
The significance of the sacrifices our veterans have made is very apparent today in the face of the war on terrorism. With thousands and thousands of veterans now returning home from military duty, we must be prepared for their return and ensure that they receive the care, support and services they deserve. We must work to ensure that prescription drugs are affordable, health care is accessible and that Veteran’s Hospitals are provided with the proper tools and support they need.
This Veteran’s Day, we pause and pay tribute to the approximately 190,000 troops serving overseas in the ongoing war against terrorism, the war in Iraq, and our continued operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East and who continue to serve with honor and sacrifice. Our hearts and our prayers are with them.
I have often said a person is a hero not for what they do, but for what they would do. Our soldiers risk their lives for each another. They leave their family and friends and the comfort of their homes to serve a cause greater than themselves. They live for freedom and they would die for freedom.
As we support our veterans who have returned home, we must also recognize and commemorate the lives of those who were willing to pay the ultimate price for our freedom. That is why I have worked closely with veterans groups and fought hard to establish a world-class veterans cemetery at the former Sampson Air Force and Naval Base in Seneca County. After years of hard work, I am extremely pleased that the Veterans’ Cemetery is nearing completion and scheduled to open in the Spring. It is an honor to lead the efforts to create this important memorial to those who answered the call of duty, and served their nation with courage and dignity.
Heroes don’t ask to be heroes and they don’t strive to become heroes. People are called to heroism, and heroes are those that answer the call.
The fallen heroes we honor on Veteran's Day were people like you and I. They missed their loved ones, dreamed dreams, and felt the same fears we do, while sharing in the hope and promise our nation provides. These courageous Americans, when called upon to protect our country, served with honor and paid the ultimate price to defend our great Nation.
A soldier belongs to their family. When a soldier falls, they belong to us all.
God bless America, the greatest nation in the history of the world, and God bless our veterans for making it that way.