It is an honor to pay tribute to those men and women who have served in our armed forces in the past and those serving now. On this holiday, we join together to express our gratitude to those who returned home safely from their tour of duty to live the remainder of their lives as nature ordained.
But it is with heavy hearts that we honor those individuals who have fallen in the line of duty.
The greatest tribute that we can pay to them and their Gold Star parents is to apply to our own lives the strong faith and undaunting courage that was theirs when they answered the call to duty without hesitation or reservation.
It is because of them that we are given strong incentive to seek lasting peace and better purposes in life. They put their lives on the line and met great challenges face-to-face. Not for fame or fortune, nor rank and glory, but simply because of their commitment to duty.
Although there has been controversy surrounding some of our recent conflicts, it is critical that we never forget that those who fought, fought with a pureness of heart and mind. They fought with courage and they died with honor. They deserve to be criticized by none and praised by all.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “The ground of liberty is won by inches.” That has never been more true than the moment the American symbol of heroism and pride was born when on the island of Iwo Jima, after four days of battle on the volcanic slopes of Mount Suribachi, five Marines and one Navy corpsman raised the stars and stripes.
The American flag has been raised by our gallant seaman on their ships in the salty air of many seas, and all too often they have followed to the unforgiving depths.
Our tenacious soldiers of the U.S. Army have raised Old Glory victoriously amongst the stink of battle on many a battlefield and our airman break the bonds of earth with undiminished resolution to preserve intact that glorious object that is symbolized by the stars and stripes, which is FREEDOM.
I am always honored to support the selfless men and women of the armed forces who put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others, for they are the true defenders of LIBERTY and JUSTICE for all.