Today we pay tribute to our country’s greatest heroes – the brave women and men of our armed services – who have risked life and limb in defense of our nation.
From the beaches of Normandy and the Pacific, to the Cold Warriors in Europe, our faithful servants in Korea and Vietnam, to the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our service members and veterans put themselves in harm's way to protect our country and all that she stands for. Their valor and heroism, their service on the front lines and here at home is the bedrock of America’s soul, and the guarantor of our liberty.
Since the start of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, New York has lost two hundred and fifty five of its bravest sons and daughters. Their memory lives on through those who still serve and those who have come home, their sacrifice must never be forgotten.
Our armed services are the greatest the world has ever known, not because of their conquests, but because of their sacrifice. To our heroes - the former warriors who lived, our precious fallen, and the brave fighters of today - we say thank you, we love you, and may God bless you.