Veterans’ Day is a time when we unite to remember and honor the millions of brave men and women who served our nation in uniform. President John Kennedy once said: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” Today, we recall President Kennedy’s words as we thank members of the Armed Forces for making our nation a beacon of democracy, hope and opportunity to the rest of the world.
I also want to extend my gratitude to the families of our veterans and thank them for their courage, character, strength and their enduring power of example. Everyone gathered here today appreciates the commitment and sacrifice you have made as your loved ones have served our nation.
As we pause to remember our veterans, we also turn our thoughts and prayers to those who are now serving in our Armed Forces and who will become the veterans of tomorrow. Today, there are 1.4 million Americans serving on active duty in our Armed Forces, and 281,000 of them are now in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan. We pray for their speedy and safe return.